Twenty years ago geography mattered. When there was one grocer in every suburb there was always enough business to go round. Close was an advantage.
It’s easy to believe that because digital has dissolved borders, that it has simultaneously diluted advantages.
But being close has taken on a whole new meaning. Closer has become more nuanced and presented an even bigger opportunity to understand our customers and add value. Today every CEO is one tweet away from her customers. Every Etsy store owner a click away from another continent. Our bookstore knows what we love to read and even our thermostat understands us.
We know that whoever gets closest to their customer wins and that’s never been more true than it is in a world where you are not limited by the boundaries that domain knowledge, distance or even monopolies once created.
Image by Fuga Tabetai.