Book | 2010

Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd

by Youngme Moon


Every few years a book-through a combination of the author's unique voice, storytelling ability, spirit, and insight-simply breaks the mold. Youngme Moon's DIFFERENT is that kind of book, a book for "people who don't read business books...," a book that feels like an intimate conversation with a friend who has thought deeply about how the world works, and who inspires you to look at that world with new clarity. If there is one strain of conventional wisdom pervading every company in every industry, it is the importance of competing hard to differentiate yourself from the competition. And yet going head-to-head with the competition-with respect to features, product augmentations, and so on-has the perverse effect of making you just like everyone else. Youngme's message is simple: Get off the competitive treadmill that's taking you nowhere. Aspire to offer the world something that is meaningfully different—different in a manner that is both fundamental and comprehensive. Along the way, this award-winning teacher and scholar draws on lessons from her research, her case studies on companies such as IKEA and Google, and her experiences in the classroom to weave stories of iconoclasm and nonconformity, of imagination and delight. The result is a breathtakingly astute deconstruction of the strange and wonderful culture in which we live and consume..., a take on differentiation unlike any other found in business today. DIFFERENT shows how to succeed in a world where conformity reigns... but exceptions rule. It is also a stirring reminder of something that we too often forget: That business is, at heart, a profoundly human endeavor... which means that an essential requirement for any businessperson—in any market, in any economy—is an acute sensitivity to what makes us all spin.

Keywords: Communication Intention and Meaning; Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Invention; Marketing; Creativity; Competition;


Moon, Youngme. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd. Crown, 2010.