How to be a millionaire

First step, make a million dollars.

Is purple necessary? Shariq wonders why so many big, successful, profitable companies (Dell, Wal-Mart, Accenture) are boring. Doesn’t it contradict so many of the pundits who say we need to be remarkable, small, excellent, etc?

It’s pretty compelling logic–look at superbig, superprofitable companies, do what they do and boom, you’ll be successful.

There are two problems. The first is that they already did what you are setting out to do. So copying them doesn’t give anyone a reason to switch. Filling a filled niche is incredibly difficult and doing it without something to give you a significant edge doesn’t work.

The second problem is that long ago, every one of these companies you’d like to emulate was remarkable. Dell, for example, wasn’t boring when they invented so many of the tactics that remade the industry. Wal-Mart faced down skeptics for decades.

Bottom line: growth, if it’s growth you’re after, doesn’t come from acting like you are already the dominant force in the market, able to deliver average products for average customers. Growth always comes from the edges.