What’s “Unfair Advantage”?
I started hearing about “unfair advantage” through the startup scene around Ycombinator. It’s merely a thing or relationship that you have and nobody else does. This is pretty limiting, right?
I extend the definition to things that only 25% or less of people could have. Some things that can be an unfair advantage:
- Being YouTube Certified in Audience Development
- Having a Law Degree
- Knowing VFX on Adobe After Effects
- Owning a drone
We probably firstly think in the Macro. Believing the system is against us. But I contend that we can look inward and more closely to find our personal unfair advantages. Also, it’s insanely simple to create your own unfair advantage. Not easy, in fact, it’s really hard to learn new skills, but it’s simple.
Beginner Level: Discover Any Unfair Advantage
Friends and Family, those are unfair advantages. Your Mom, Your Dad, Your best friend. Those are relationships nobody else will have with them.
Example: Elle Mills uses her friends and family to tell stories. It seems simple. It is simple. She’s telling human stories about humans and interactions we all have, but using those close to her to show it on video. She’s got these friends who will help her shop, be on camera, behind the camera. That’s an unfair advantage.
Intermediate Level: Create An Unfair Advantage
These aren’t just “discovered”. You can create your own unfair advantages. Some take years, like certifications or becoming a doctor. Others can be done in a weekend.
Example: Lawyer’s aren’t born, they go to school. Legal Eagle has an unfair advantage of going through law school and practicing law. His youtube channel can only be created by someone who toes the line between YouTuber and Lawyer.
- Go to film school. Takes 4 years
- Buy a drone, and learn how to use it. Takes 2 weeks and $600 (DJI Spark)
- Buy a closet full of Jimmy Choo Heels? Takes a Million bucks.
- Buy a green screen, and learn how to use it. Takes 2 weeks and $100.
- Learn how to juggle. Takes a month and $10 for 3 hacky sacks.
Advanced Level: Create Someone Else’s Unfair Advantage
Using an unfair advantage doesn’t have to be abusive. Corralling your friends into videos does not have to be herding sheep. And asking for a favor doesn’t have to be asking for a favor. It’s more valuable to ask to do a favor for someone else.
- Find a friend who needs headshots. You can use them for your Instagram.
- Shoot a drone video for a boutique hotel’s who needs it, get a night’s stay.
- Draw portraits of dogs for dog instagrammers.
Find someone or a company that needs what you have.
email me: email@example.com and I’ll brainstorm with you.
- City Beautiful is a Civil Engineer
- Jaime Staples is a professional poker player
- Nick Nimmin learned how to grow his YouTube channel and now helps others.
Thanks to Shaun, Zach and Amelia for reading early drafts.