Discover more from Life According to D
The Anatomy of Difference
"It is in differentiation, not in uniformity, lies the path of progress." - Louis D. Brandeis
The word "difference" originates from the Latin word "differentia," which in turn comes from "differens," the present participle of "differre." "Differre" is made up of "dis-" meaning "apart," and "ferre" meaning "to carry" or "to bear". So, essentially, "difference" has roots in a Latin term that means "to carry apart" or "to set apart," which aligns with the current meaning of "difference" as a noun indicating a point or way in which people or things are dissimilar.
In English, "difference" refers to the quality or state of being dissimilar or distinct from something else. It can also refer to a disagreement or variation between two or more things.
So there you have it, a pretty easy term to understand. We all say it regularly. Oh yeah, he/she/they are different, but explaining how something is different in great detail takes more thinking and time while digging deeper.
Clearly and intelligently expressing uniqueness in as few words as possible help the listener/reader.
Daunt Books in 1990. After graduating from Cambridge University, he worked briefly in banking before pursuing his passion for books and opening his bookstore in Marylebone, London. Despite his young age, Daunt created a successful business model based on his vision for a more curated selection of books and a better customer experience.
James Daunt was 26 when he founded Daunt Books store and opened the first store in 1990 in Marylebone, London, England. James Daunt was sure he could create a point of “difference” by being a bookstore offering a more curated selection of books and a better customer experience than traditional bookstores. The Marylebone store quickly became a success, and Daunt Books has since expanded to six locations throughout London and a location in Holland Park, London. Today, Daunt Books is known for its unique store layout, a curated selection of books, and excellent customer service.
His success with Daunt Books led to his appointment as CEO of Waterstones in 2011. He led the company through a successful turnaround, including introducing a new store design and focusing on customer service. In 2019, he was also appointed CEO of Barnes & Noble to turn around the struggling US bookstore chain. Under Daunt's leadership, both Waterstones and Barnes & Noble have seen renewed success and have been able to adapt to the challenges facing the retail book industry.
"A good bookseller is a matchmaker. They know their books, and they know their customers, and they can put the right book in the right person's hands."
~ James Daunt
To try and do something different than the original model, you can try the following steps (think on paper):
Understand the original model: It is crucial to thoroughly understand the original model and its limitations as it relates to your idea. Thinking this through will help identify areas to improve or offer something different.
Identify the gaps: Once you understand the original model, you can identify gaps or areas where you can add value or offer something different in features, functionality, or performance.
Define your objective: Defining the purpose of your idea and how it differs will help you stay focused on the key differences and ensure that your model offers something unique.
Evaluate your model: Evaluate your model, ensuring it meets your defined objectives and is better than the original model in some way. The list here could be endless, depending on what you are seeking to do.
I remember opening a small cafe and needing help choosing colours. After seeing a magazine ad for colourful floral bedsheets, I thought they were! So I took the ad to a paint store and asked for the three prominent colours. We painted the cafe, and everyone loved it. And it didn’t take many months before another cafe in town copied our colour scheme.
So, remember, this is a continuous process, and it is essential to continually evaluate and improve your differentiation to stay ahead of the competition and meet the ever-changing market.