How student books are like combat sports

Found out about Machida’s controversial win recently and it got me thinking about why we shouldn’t have market leaders in our portfolios.

Machida is the UFC champ. He has tons of money riding on him and support backing him. He also has a proven track record. Both sides put up a helluva fight and while most thought the lesser-known challenger had won, the deciding vote among the judges went to Machida. Why? Because as objective and unbiased we purport to be an awesome reputation precedes. The only real way any unknown challenger can win without contest is by knockout.

We as students are amateurs, it’s like in Rocky, you can train and fight and beat up butcher-shop inventory as hard as you can but Apollo will win, unless you can conclusively convince all ‘judges’ (ie creative directors) that you’re better.

Knockouts are impressive, it’s a clearer win. And losers are easier to knock out than winners. Which is why picking a loser brand’s advertising to beat is a better way to start than trying to convince people you’ve taken down the champ.

Of course you don’t want to fight nobodies either (picking an obscure niche product or making one up) because nobody wants to watch you shadow-box.


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