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Secret Sauce and IP

Companies often confuse what their intellectual property really is.

  • A blog post (as a content format) is not intellectual property, it is a commodity.
  • A video is not intellectual property, it is a commodity.
  • A drawing — like this one :) — is not intellectual property, it is a commodity.

This is why as things start to work, people notice and start to make the similar things — why wouldn’t they when it’s working?

But the medium and format are not the secret sauce.

Instead, here are things that actually create differentiation:

  1. Positioning and messaging and how you solve a specific pain point.
  2. True expertise and value provided to the customer.
  3. The audience and customers behind a business and the affinity they have for the business
  4. Strategic advantages at the business’ disposal (e.g. supply chain, partnerships, cost efficiencies etc.)
  5. How effectively you execute on a bigger vision for a market or category

Anyone can imitate a portion of the whole, but it is impossible to duplicate the sum of all the strategic pillars that make up a business.

This is why the more you understand your secret sauce, the easier scaling becomes.

It is also why the more you understand your secret sauce, the less relevant competition becomes.

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