The Razor’s Edge

Some decades ago, while studying race horse performance, a group of scientists stumbled upon a fascinating discovery: In the long run, the number 1 race horse earned up to ten times more in prize money than the number 2 race horse. However, the number one race horse was less than 3 percent faster than number two.

They called this strange phenomenon the razor’s edge, a small, yet consistent advantage, which can result in a massive, exponential positive effect on performance and success.

What we know now is that the razor’s edge is not limited to horse racing, but is equally valid for modern businesses and professionals.

The secret of high performance is to do a few things slightly different to create a few small advantages in certain key areas.

If you want to apply the razor’s edge, it’s therefore nice to know that you’re good. However, it’s much more important to know why you’re good. This knowledge enables you to build on your strengths.

There are two questions to jump-start this process:

  • If you want to accelerate your business, ask your best clients: Why do you do business with us, instead of doing business with the competition?
  • If you want to accelerate your career, ask your boss: What would you let me do, if my work would be limited to only doing one thing?

Doubling your results, doesn’t mean that you have to become twice as good. You only need to become slightly better at the few things which really matter.

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