What Lance Armstrong really did (as pertains to business)

With all the news today coming out about Lance Armstrong, I am reminded about his other achievement.  That is, not the races he won (many of those titles will probably be stripped now), but the way he established his fame (and centi-million dollar net worth).

The world of competitive cycling is composed of many, many races around the world, and there are many different kinds of races: multi-day, day-long, part-day, sprints, and so on.  They are raced in many different kinds of environments: mountains, flats, inside on tracks, and so on.  Most cyclists compete in a variety of types of races and make their reputation, at least in part, by how versatile of a racer they are.

Armstrong, though, did what no one else had done.  He concentrated only the best-known race, the Tour de France.  By focusing, he was able to train specifically for it, and he didn’t dissipate himself on other races.  As a result, his name became almost synonymous with the Tour.

The strategy worked.  If you aren’t yourself a serious cyclist, can you name any other world-class cyclist?  Probably not.

Your business is probably composed of many market segments and several product lines.  Is there money to be made by concentrating on just one, and becoming the best, or the best known, at it?

I’ll bet there’s a good chance of it.

Ralph

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