The Problem With Analogies

Alan Belniakbusiness, General, MarketingLeave a Comment

analogies (as seen on

Have you heard something like this before?


What are other B2C companies doing?


What are other publicly traded, B2C companies, focusing on apparel doing?


What are other publicly traded, B2C companies, focusing on women’s apparel, with $500k to $1b in revenue doing?


We’re a start-up; we can’t do something like that big company.


You have a degree and might be smart, but you’ve never run your own company.


It’s nice to benchmark yourself against others, in terms of performance.  But if you benchmark yourself against others for everything, including new ideas, things you might want to try, whether to get into something new (or avoid it) – you’re intentionally ignoring other viable opportunities and suggestions.  This isn’t to say that you should take all advice you get – but stop limiting yourself.

If you’re a decision-maker, chances are that your company (or you, yourself) believe that you have the capacity to take in multiple data points, ruminate on them, and produce a researched and cogent viewpoint.  If not, then the issue is much deeper than the lack of available data.


(This post was inspired by two readings I come back to on a few occasions – Seth Godin’s piece, called Walking Away From Real ; and Chris Brogan’s piece here, which has a quote: “No one ever won a race looking sideways.”)


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