…it’s just about making an effort and repeating the same thing every day.” | Yoshikazu, Sukiyabashi Jiro from Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Information isn’t wealth any more. Sure, there still are patented techniques that are probably the modern day equivalent to “the secret sauce.” But, if we dig deeper, I think we’d find that the secret sauce, like nostalgia :), isn’t what it used to be.
Google isn’t just the best search engine because of its ground breaking page rank algorithm. It is the best because it didn’t use that innovation and head-start to sit back and relax. Google has been running experiments on how to tweak the algorithm ever since at ground-breaking speed using data from user behavior for 15 straight years, week after week. They make the effort. It shows.
Yes, being the first mover is an advantage. Billy Beane did that with the Oakland A’s focus on using statistics to build teams around groups of players rather than look for star players. However, other baseball franchises caught up with his methods soon enough. So, Billy Beane began focusing on the college players draft as he felt inefficiencies lay there. Soon, the other franchises will catch up there too. If Beane is to continue having the sort of impact he’s had on the game, he will have to continue making the effort to find inefficiencies every day.
Why doesn’t everyone do it? Because it is hard, complicated, and not guaranteed to work. It involves accepting that you simply don’t know enough and that your current way is probably woefully inefficient.
So, if you are still intent on finding a secret sauce, I’d suggest looking hard to Sukiyabashi Jiro, Google, and Billy Beane. The techniques they use are no big secret. But, their genius lies in their consistency of effort.
Show up on time, look for what’s hard, complicated, and not guaranteed to work…. and ship. Then, do it again tomorrow.