“If you think a competitor sucks, say so. When you do that, you’ll find that others who agree with you will rally to your side. Being the anti-______ is a great way to differentiate yourself and attract followers.” REWORK, p. 141
Everyone like to see a fight. It doesn’t matter if its physical…if its bloodshed we want to be there.
Great startups use the strategy of picking fights time and time again:
- Jezebel picked a fight when they called the Daily Show sexist.
- Posterous picked a fight with Tumblr…telling Tumblr users they need to graduate to Posterous (ooooooooooh!!!!)
- Apple took great pop-shots at Microsoft in the late 90′s
- 50 Cent took swings when he was just starting out: he wrote a song about robbing other rappers
Now to be honest, fighting the Ivan Drago’s or Goliaths of the world does and doesn’t work. With the previous four examples:
- Jezebel’s post got over 211,00 page views, 1,000 comments, and a sharp retort from the ladies of the Daily Show
- For all its talk Posterous still got spanked in usage and growth
- Well…we know how THAT worked out
- The rappers got mad, fired back (the most famous being Jay-Z), and according to 50 it was the “best thing” that happened
Jesus Picked Fights
Jesus picked many a fight in His day. His fights were always with the ruling religious and political powers that were. While starting up and gathering momentum He’d say things like:
“But I warn you — unless you obey God better than the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees do, you can’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven at all!” (Matthew5: 20 NLT)
“And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get.” (Matthew 6:5 NLT)
“Now Jesus turned to address His disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. ‘The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.’” (Matthew 23: 1-3 MSG)
“So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked Him, ‘Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old customs? For they eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.’ Jesus replied, ‘You hypocrites!” (Mark 7: 5-6 NLT)
You don’t say things like that!! To the establishment! Stuff like that gets you in trouble with them; puts you on the out and out.
But it gains you a great following.
So what do you think? Is a picking a fight a great strategy?
Image by Darren Hardy