100 Words On: Why Competition Is Good For Everyone

Human nature is such that, if given the chance, most folks would choose to take the path of least resistance by avoiding competition. However, those who lack challengers almost always miss the motivation required to innovate or otherwise stay at the top of their game. Over the long run, fair competition helps the most deserving come to the forefront. In the free market, competition helps consumers by fostering lower prices and better quality.

The bottom line: Don’t lament your opponents — embrace them! Rivals not only make us better, but, even better, they usually affirm we’re competing in potentially lucrative arenas.

Photo Credit: Brandon Hite

Comments

  1. 1

    Wilson says

    What you say is very true. They are a necessary “evil.” But I still wish I didn’t have competitors to deal with.

  2. 3

    says

    Grow that pie, don’t divide it or eat it!

    We should definitely embrace the competition – otherwise we’d have no consumer computers and our TVs would look like the ones in the Sears Catalog back in the 50s. For the benefits in hardware alone, I’m all for the competition!

    • 4

      Len Penzo says

      Exactly! That’s why all those cars built in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War were POSs. It was bad enough that they were designed by the politburos and built by the government — but the biggest reason the cars sucked was there were no true competitors around to force the manufacturers to try and overcome their (at best) mediocrity.

  3. 5

    says

    necessary evil!!!! i don’t see them as such. on the business side of it, i see them as a means to check the most common human attribute we possess, greed. on the consumer side of it i see it as a means to promote the idea that we, as human beings, possess free will rather than believing that our lives are determined.

    • 6

      Len Penzo says

      Well said, Griper. It also checks another human trait: the urge to make ourselves comfortable and take the path of least resistance by resting on our laurels.

  4. 7

    says

    A mentor of mine used to call the outlook of most people a “limited pie” mentality. They’d spend so much energy hovering over their little piece of pie that they wouldn’t search for more. He talked about how an “unlimited pie” mentality was better: there was always enough pie for a great competitor.

    Man, your post makes me hungry….

    • 8

      Len Penzo says

      I like that, Joe. That kind of harks back to my comment about getting too comfortable.

      Your mentor is absolutely right — the pie (especially here in America) is enormous. Take a look at the restaurant business. There are so many restaurants out there you would think the market is completely saturated and unable to absorb any more challengers. But the fact is, the worst that will happen is a highly competent newcomer will most likely only negatively affect (to the point of putting someone out of business) the marginal players who aren’t truly satisfying the market anyway.

      There really is plenty for everyone!

  5. 9

    says

    I react positively to competition! I need it to step up my gaame. One of my first jobs was for a Fortune 500 company whoo only hired the best and brightest. I knew there were people who wanted my job and I had to be at my best. I learned some of my best skills there and competition made me good.

    • 10

      Len Penzo says

      I’m with you, KC.

      Let me know which Fortune 500 company you worked for because, knowing their hiring requirements, if I get laid off I don’t want to waste a resume.

  6. 11

    says

    I don’t view you as a competitor, maybe I should…On the other hand I do try to be funnier. So I guess I am competing.

    Maybe I need to write a 100 comment on competing. Nahh, dinner is ready!

  7. 13

    says

    Allow me to excerpt the book “Rush: Why You Need and Love the Rat Race”. Let’s just hope I don’t land you in copyright hot water!
    “When we aim to go forward we cannot help but see where others stand. Just as you cannot enter a moving freeway without adjusting for the cars speeding down the lanes of traffic, you cannot make or enact plans without sensing where your fellow human beings are, and attempting to nudge your way into the flow of things. The entrepreneur tries to get financing for his great (or not so great) idea; the professor seeks to publish one more article to seal his bid for tenure; the cancer researcher stays up till three a.m. finishing her grant proposal; the seven-year-old girl wakes up at seven a.m. to tie back her ponytail and strap on her shin pads for the Saturday soccer game. A competitive economic system acknowledges and applauds such drive and ambition.”

    • 14

      Len Penzo says

      I love it!

      I’m pretty sure we’re okay to legally quote short excerpts as long as we provide proper attribution. (By the way, according to Amazon, the author is Todd G. Buchholz.)

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