Most business owners spend a lot of time figuring out how to give their customers more of what they want.

At various points in the business cycle they add better and cheaper to the analysis. An approach that creates productivity and efficiency. But little originality.

It is a strategy that also systematically undermines the value of those businesses. By turning the unique into the common and individuality into commodity.

My brother-in-law showed me a quote last week that described Steve Jobs’ approach to building his business.

“First he creates black holes. Then he fills them with stars.”

If we seek to only do better that which has been done before, we will eventually optimize ourself out of business.

But if we focus instead on what makes us magical to our customers, we will be irreplaceable.