My south Philadelphia neighborhood is experiencing a resurgence of sorts. Along with a new pet supply store and a gym, there are new coffee shops and restaurants. Some are more coffee shop than restaurant. Some are more restaurant than coffee shop.
But where there were once just two of the species within a three-block radius three years ago, there are easily five or six. Which makes all the coffee-drinking, food-eating neighbors wonder: can they all peacefully co-exist?
I believe they can. But only if they each follow a simple principle: do what the other guy can’t. Or at least doesn’t do.
Does your coffee shop make it easy to study and get lots of refills? Market that. Do you use better ingredients than the other guy? Market that. Are you trying to pick up commuters on the go? Market that. It’s only when you’re redundant do you have to worry.
Last week I talked about cutting out the media middle man. But only in instances where the media function has been rendered redundant with what the average guy can do with an iPhone and Twitter.
At the end of the day, the most successful media — like coffee shops in my ‘hood — do what I can’t do. Or, at least, what I don’t do.