While thinking about the past year, I pulled together a collection of all the blogs I wrote in 2010. Looking back at the posts that generated the most responses in 2010, I began to get a sense of what 2011 might hold in store.
You force your competitors onto the horn of a dilemma. They can either run to protect themselves against one end of the horn, while exposing themselves to the other, or vice versa, but they cannot do both.
Blue Nile's divergence from industry norms begins with its purpose. Tiffany & Co., for example, describes itself as "the world's premier jeweler and America's house of design." While this may seem innocuous, it exerts a powerful pull on how Tiffany's people see their business.
We cannot explain Blue Nile's success with traditional logic. It owns no diamond mines, as De Beers does. It enjoyed no pre-existing customer captivity, as Tiffany has been able to build. But if you analyze how Blue Nile's management team explains its success you see the inner workings of an outthinker.