‘Better’ Doesn’t Give You the Edge – Parrots Do

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In the 1980’s the competition between small TV stations to have the best weather reporting was fierce.

Who had the latest, most technologically advanced forecasting equipment and who got the weather right more often?

While stations were spending big money to get the latest radar systems, one little station simply could not compete. They didn’t have the money for the latest equipment and even if they did, they would still be going head to head with all the bigger stations in the area on their terms, meaning they would likely still be dead last in the ratings.

So what did they do?

They got a parrot.

That’s right, the weatherman got a new sidekick when the station owner brought in his pet parrot to help him do the weather.

This parrot could say a lot of words and sometimes even string them together into sentences. He could also pick up new terms quickly, so each day the station would get the weather forecast off the wire service and teach the parrot to say one or more things like, “Sunny and hot!” “Too much damn rain!” and “Wear your galoshes!”

You might think people would tune in to a station that had the best weather forecast and the best equipment to predict tornados and so forth.


They tuned into the parrot. It didn’t matter if the parrot said it would be sunny and hot and the day turned out to be cold and wet. People would still tune in the next day to see what the parrot would say next.

As word of the parrot spread, this little station’s ratings quickly skyrocketed from dead last to #1, beating all the others by a handy margin.

Lesson learned? Building the best website or having the best product won’t necessarily get you sales, but being entertaining will.

Be in a class of your own by finding a way to stand so far apart from the competition that you essentially have no competition at all. And then if the people like your style, you won’t need to be the best to grow your business.

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this post as PDF to read at your leisure


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