23 March 2016 | 12 Comments
On Saturday I had an amazing lunch at a new fried chicken restaurant in St. Louis called Southern. Southern shares a building–and even a hallway for the long lines it attracts–with a very popular barbecue restaurant, Pappy’s.
After I finished my meal at Southern, I stood in the lobby of Southern while I waited for one of my friends to go to the bathroom. It was then that a Pappy’s employee walked by.
“How’d you like the chicken?” he asked.
I told him it was awesome, though I’d probably choose a slightly less spicy version next time.
“Totally,” he said. “My favorite is the original, with some mild sauce on the side. It’s so good.”
I had to smile at the interaction, especially since it reminded me of most interactions I’ve had with my fellow Kickstarter creators: Here was an employee at Southern’s immediate competitor speaking highly of their competition.
It made me want to eat at Pappy’s the next time I’m in the mood for some Southern food (which, admittedly, is almost always). There’s something congenial and welcoming about people who speak highly of their competitors. I’m much more drawn to people who speak highly of competitors than those who say bad things or try to sell their product to you instead.
I’ve found this type of friendly competition to be very much in the spirit with Kickstarter too. When I run a campaign, I don’t feel like I’m competing against other live campaigns. In fact, I try to avoid launching on the same day as other game-related campaigns using this Google Doc so we’re not jostling for attention on the same day.
It’s one of the reasons I’m comfortable sharing my love for other games, designers, and companies through this blog, my YouTube channel, and social media. I know technically these are my competitors, but I’m in the board game business because I love board games (not just my own games), and I want to share that with people.
The actionable point here for you is to speak freely about other creators and projects you admire. Don’t be afraid of losing customers by doing that; rather, doing so will attract and endear people to you.
Can you think of a time–on Kickstarter or elsewhere–that you came to like a person or company more because of the way they spoke about their competitors?