The ubiquity of competition

Sure, there are playoffs in football, but competition is everywhere, we just forget to notice it.

There are three hundred photographers looking for work in a particular specialty. One puts a creative commons license on his shots in Flickr and they start showing up in many places, from presentations to brochures. Which of the 300 photographers has won the competition for attention? Which one of the three hundred has shared his ideas enough to be noticed?

There are twenty towns you can choose for your family's new home. One invests in its schools, has a focus on inquiry, AP courses and community, while the others are muddling through, arguing about their future. Which one commands a higher premium for its houses?

There are a hundred new kinds of snacks and energy bars at the checkout of the supermarket. One is a little bigger, a little more exciting and a little closer to eye level. Which one of the hundred wins the battle for your impulse buy?

There are fifty people applying for a job. Forty nine have great credentials and beautifully standard layouts on their resumes. One resume was hand delivered to the CEO by his best friend, together with a glowing recommendation about a project the applicant did for the friend's non-profit.  Who gets the interview?

There are ten great jobs for the superstar programmer who is looking for a new challenge. One offers offices not cubes, free lunch, great customer support and the freedom to work on interesting projects. Where does she choose to apply?

There are 30 places that sell bumper stickers. One shows up first in the Google ads when I do a search. Which one gets my business?

There are seventy houses for sale in town. One of them is represented by a broker who is a pillar of the community, a friend of many and a role model for the industry. Which one gets more people to its open house?

There are eighty million blogs to choose from. Thanks for picking mine to read today.

You don't have to like competition in order to understand that it exists. Your fair share isn't going to be yours unless you give the public a reason to pick you.