Developing Your Hedgehog Concept
In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins profiles companies that were able to have huge gains over their competition through getting focused on what he refers to as the hedgehog concept. This concept is, that in order to make your business grow you need to be focused on the intersection of three concentric circles. These circles are:
- What you are passionate about?
- What drives your economic engine?
- What you can be best in the world at?
- What can you be the best in the world at: Sprinting! That was what he did. He did it better than anyone else of his day. He focused on it and only it. While other riders were trying to round themselves out, he stayed focused on sprinting and only sprinting. He was criticized for not developing his climbing ability, however, he knew that he would never be the best climber, and because of that, he did not try in the hills. Instead he saved his resources for the sprints where he knew he could win.
- What are you passionate about: The attention winning brings! Mario loved the attention. This was obvious from some of the outrageous outfits he wore. He also loved the attention that he received when he sprinted across the line. This passion drove the third portion of the equation which is the economic engine.
- What drives your economic engine: Endorsements! Mario used his winning record, good looks, and flair to drive an empire for himself. He became the face of advertizing for the products he represented. Companies like Specialized even painted bikes to capitalize on his flair.