Let`s say I`m a writer....oh wait...I AM a writer! One day I woke up and decided I`d like to be a writer. I talked to a couple of folks, and of course heard about how there are lots and lots of writers in the world.
Some opinions tell me that a writer has an awful lot of competion in today`s world. Plenty of other writers are going after contracts, success, and money. But other opinions tell me that whatever I write, if it`s interesting and different, it`ll find a way to "get out there"---that the writing itself "does something."
Following the logic of the first opinion set, I look out over the world and see only today (and the past decade or so). I consider myself a newbie, a little guy, untried and without a provable past history. "Things" look really large, and I`m at the bottom of some sort of ladder, having to work my way up to some sort of destination. Enh....pretty much hogwash. :-)
The second opinion set is more interesting. Anyone who writes stuff, leaves behind that stuff. It`s in the world...in the wind...in history. So as soon as I decide to put pen to paper (Can we still use that expression?), I enter into competition with Plato, Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson, JK Rowling, and Ed Frisbee.
Never heard of ol` Ed? Neither have I...I just made him up. But he`s a writer, too, just like Plato. We`re all in compettion based on *product* not on size!
As a writer, I`m not in competition with Citibank. I`m not in competition with McDonald`s. The former sells money, the latter sells food. I sell words. So I don`t at all concern myself with the size of those types of companies.
On the other hand, Ayn Rand has already sold bazillions of words. I`ve only sold a few thousand words. Does that mean I can`t compete, or I`m not competing well? Is it the number of words, or the size of my products that defines competition?
Competition is a function of existence. As soon as I come into existence as a "something," I immediately enter into competition with all other entities in the same set. If I sell hot dogs on a corner, I enter into competition with all entities who sell food, all entities who occupy street corners, and all entities making exchanges for money.
So: How do you perceive competition? What is it? Is it a natural function of simply existing, or does competition come knocking one unknown afternoon? Is competition a framework of reality, or do you "build it" as a feature you want to sell in your line of business?