Standout: Different brands, same design

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When you enter to eKasi [township], any Kasi, you get to pass about 4 car washes on the same street.

These car washes wash cars the same way, charging the same price, using same process tools and processes etc.

Different car wash names but the process, prices and tools are the same.

The same goes for the hair salons, tyre fixers, spaza shops, different brand names but same design etc.

Have you ever noticed how a crowd exits a packed venue?

Even when there are three exits most people take the middle one.

You see this play out in business too.

Take a walk through the running shoe department in any sports store, and you will find little to differentiate one shoe from another. Most of the shoes are similar, they may be different brands, but their designs are similar.

When one brand starts designing and manufacturing with a new kind of material others follow suit.

The same patterns emerge in entrepreneurship.

Every brand aspires to be unique, to stand out and create something meaningful, yet when it comes to executing on those aspirations we imitate, dumb down and deviate towards the mediocre mean.

We head where everyone else is headed because the uncrowded edges feel risky.

In fact, the opposite is true.

You stand out when you stand for something, when you go to a place your peers or competitors are not prepared to go.

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