A lot of straightforward but not-always-obvious wisdom in this 37signals post, “Don’t just try to steal a share of the existing market, create a new one“:
Nintendo goes after people who aren’t using other video game systems. While Xbox 360 and Sony one-up each other trying to reach experienced, demanding gamers, Nintendo goes after newbies. The Wii’s controller makes video games so simple that a three year-old can play it. And the company is thriving because of it…
Nearly half of all undergraduate students in the US now attend community college. Why? They are more affordable, have more lenient admission standards, offer online degrees, and focus on market-driven degrees aimed at nurses, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and EMTs. All that means they are able to enroll students who otherwise might never wind up in a classroom.
You could take this lesson to politics, too – especially local politics, or anywhere you’re trying to outflank an entrenched establishment. Don’t go to the usual power brokers, making the same speech in all of the same places. Put together a coalition of people who don’t usually bump up against each other. And especially, make sure you get all of the people who haven’t been successfully targeted by a political campaign before. Don’t fight the same battles if you can redraw the map.
Come to think of it, I guess that’s how Obama did it. Smart guy.