The #1 Rule to Winning: Do It Better!

Over the weekend I held my annual Halloween party. Every year I strive to have the best costume, and I usually spend a decent amount of money in the process. This year I wasn’t sure what to be… I wanted to be the Joker, because I knew I could have one of the best (if not the best) costumes … but on the other hand, it’s the hottest costume this season and others might also be wearing it. So I went ahead with the Joker anyway. I searched out the best costumes on ebay, got the best wig, even purchased a great pair of latex scars… then the day of the party I went to a make up artist to make the costume perfect. The end result… everyone loved the costume, and no one else showed up as the Joker anyway!

HTML clipboard“It’s not about the money, it’s about sending a message.” – Joker

So what’s the point… the point is, no matter how many other people are doing something, as long as you are the best at it, you will succeed. This just as easily applies to business and online marketing as well. Many of the best companies out there today aren’t the best because they were the first, but because they were creative or did what others could not. Here are just a few examples of how BIG MONEY and FIRSTS are losing against better concepts and quality services.

Affiliate Marketing Example:

For anyone familiar with affiliate marketing and affiliate networks, you may know Shareasale and Commission Junction. These are two very large affiliate networks, but with two very different stories. Shareasale was started years ago by Brian Littleton and has slowing grown into a five person company, while Commission Junction has a lot of employees and was purchased for millions by ValueClick. Shareasale is one of the most loved affiliate networks out there, simply because they put the effort forth to make sure their affiliates and merchants are happy, and they are banking huge with it! Commission Junction has some of the bigger names out there, but they are more expensive, harder to get in touch with… and you will never get the same love from this multi-million dollar company.

eCommerce Example:

Think back a decade ago, what were the largest books stores everyone knew about? Barnes&Nobles were the big thing. Who would have though would have crushed such a huge and established business online. Not only did have a great shopping cart and customer walk through, they also took charge with their associates program (to bring in massive business), then expanded to millions of new products outside of just books. Amazon went from being nothing, to being the best!

Blogging Example:
PerezHilton vs. TMZ/Big Media

We all know Perez Hilton, and his story of how he was recently fired and out of work, then started up his celebrity gossip blog while in a coffee shop. How inspirational is that! While other big media companies are spending millions of dollars on print magazine and advertising… Perez has his close friend and connections and using his laptop to getting access to millions of viewers daily and millions of dollars in his pocket. Now he is the celebrity!

Movie Example:
SAW Series vs. $300 Million Movies

It’s been five years now since the first SAW movie was released into theaters… and each has been a huge hit! What SAW realized was, how to make a great movie, with a great storyline, and not having to spend mega millions to do it. Their original SAW movie, had a production budget of $1.2 million, and ended up grossing $103 million world wide. Saw 5 recently came out this week… and is the last in the series. The previous four Saw movies had a total production cost of less than $30 million, but went on to make over $550 million world wide. Over the past few years, the best world wide grossing movies have had production costs in excess of $100 million!

Always remember, just because someone is already doing something… you can always strive to do it better. How many social networks are out there today? Think of the best ones and how you could make them better. This applies to all forms of advertising and services. Competition is good for business, and it keeps us all on our toes. Keep the customer happy and go beyond their expectations and they will keep coming back for more.

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  1. Your examples are true, but in the world of blogging, it's not so true. Everyone is trying to make money or talk about making money when it's basically reading a different blogger's post and rewording it. It just makes me wonder if there will be more successful money making blogs…


    p.s. KILLER costume!

  2. Excellent article, Zac. (I didn't realize the original SAW was made for just over a million!)

  3. I wrote a short post in August about making an existing idea better …just click my name it will take you to the article.

  4. Those are some good analogies, Zac. I think it's important to note that just because a market is saturated, doesn't mean you can't succeed. You just have to be better than everyone else.

    Btw, that's one freaky costume.. I'd like to hear your "Why so serious??" line with that.

  5. Zac, you look very attractively in this suit)) it goes to you) And it is possible to see video from a holiday?) I Wait with impatience:-)

  6. Great post! I wrote about that subject just the other day (not posted anywhere – still in silent mode – shhh don't tell anyone), and is one of the key points that keep hope and dreams alive. Afterall, Google would have let Yahoo keep owning search if they didn't think they could do it better, and how many people are after Microsoft? Glad to hear I am not the only one with that thought process.

    I think it is applicable to the blogosphere. A lot of the bigger blogs are becoming what the print media was – complacent & lazy. How many posts have you read that left you thinking – What The doodlebug? Or even blogs more concerned about shoving their ads in your face than presenting a clear, clean format for their readers. After all, they went to your blog to read new info, they can be assulted w/ ads on any ol site.

    There will always be opportunity, you just need to grab it when it comes by.

  7. I have a feeling I am going to see a lot of jokers this Halloween. The movie has been such a hit.

  8. Sick costume! Man, Holloween is tommarow and I still don't have anything, can I borrow that? 🙂

  9. You can say the same thing with technology and gadgets… I mean, other countries take ideas and products from U.S. and just make it a lot better and they're known for that.


  10. This is a great post, I agree with it completely, its not about how long you were out, its about how creative you are and how good your product is. Also nice costume, it looks great

  11. Somewhat off-topic, but do you have a lot of people dressing up for your party? We had our annual Halloween party this past weekend and we were just about the only people that dressed up.

    I think, next year, we are going to have a box of awful costumes in varying sizes for the “party poopers” to wear. 🙂 Maybe some extra-large ballerina costumes for the guys and so on. 🙂

    1. Pretty much everyone dressed up… must have been 43/45. It's quite a big deal and a lot of work to put together, but not sure if we will be throwing one next year.

  12. Hey Joker 😉

    Thanks for this post – really nice to see a very direct breakdown. Some of these just so happen to be ones I was trying to compare this very afternoon! 🙂

  13. You are a wise man! Sound advice… Luv the Costume! Tonight I will be Devil wearing Prada 🙂

  14. Hi Zac,

    This is the perfect example of a well written post. Good use of examples. Good headline, everything. Keep up the great work!



  15. great costume hah.

    great post too. amazon is crazy. i reckon its just a great network of machines, there are no people. kind of like walmart. runs its great monstrous self.

  16. "Whether you think you can or you think you can't– you are right." … My favorite quote from Henry Ford. You can do anything you set your mind to.

  17. I really like your attitude and it is something that I wish I had. Whenever I come across doing something that I'm doing, or tmo be more specific, have blog posts that have my same theme, I get discouraged and feel that I'm not original and I think that is one attitude that I have to change.

    Like you said, its about being the best among the best!

  18. I agree with the things you were talking about, and your makeup is so cool, look like a rea joker

  19. I agree, but there are other ways, for example: Do it first, and be great at it. Do it different, and take a niche of a large market.

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