Disruptive Innovation and Blue Ocean Strategies

TAGS: disruptive innovation, blue ocean strategy, 2019 elitefts strong(er) sports training and success summit, #sstss2019, innovation, business, gym ownership, content, advice, elitefts.com, success, equipment, gym

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"Kobayashi broke the world hot dog record eating competition from 25 to 50 that year — 25 to 50.

"The other competitors stopped competing and started watching him because he changed the game. The judges did not have cards to hold up the number he was on because the world record was 25.

"They just watched him because while everybody else was focusing on how to eat more hot dogs in 12 minutes, Kobayashi was focused on one thing, and that’s how to eat one hot dog faster. His technique was to snap it, stuff it in, dunk the bun in water, squeeze the water out, and push the bun in, which is now the technique everyone uses.

"He evolved the sport of competitive hot dog eating. He changed the game.

"The game has changed, and it will change again."

A blue ocean strategy is that you don’t compete for the fish in the chum-filled waters. You go where no one went before.


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I don’t know if I was the first person to do small group training in the industry, but I know I didn’t have anybody to ask about it. Now when I talk about it, it’s no longer controversial. When I first talked about it, people were mad and would argue with me.

We switched from charging per session to billing monthly, which was unheard of in our area, and even now, monthly for a training gym doing small group training isn’t crazy. That’s the norm now. We’ve got to change it. We’ve got to go to the blue ocean strategy and change something else.

Compete for no one else’s plan. That’s the game: disruptive innovation.

Kobayashi changed the game, right? You think about companies. elitefts that changed the game because their content was free. A lot of people don’t understand that elitefts is an equipment company. A lot of people think it’s a content company. It’s an online magazine. It’s an information website because they’re so good at that delivering the content.

That’s disruptive innovation. Before any other website you can name was doing it, elitefts was first, doing that with content.

I do not say this to impress you; I say this to impress upon you that if a kid who grew up with unemployed parents in the roughest town in the poorest country in Western Europe at the time, which was Scotland, can move to the United States, get cancer twice and open up two seven-figure fitness businesses in the most competitive market in the world, which is Southern California, I don’t want to hear your shit. Trust me, I’m not that smart. I’ve just done a few things right, and I’m going to share those things with you as best as I can.

Adapted from Alwyn Cosgrove's 2019 SSTSS presentation.

Alwyn Cosgrove is an international Tae kwon-do champion who has utilized his personal experiences as an athlete and combined them with advanced theories of European Sports Science and the principles of modern strength and conditioning systems. He has worked with a wide variety of clients, including several Olympic- and national-level athletes, five World Champions, and professionals in a multitude of sports, including boxing, martial arts, soccer, ice skating, football, fencing, triathlon, rugby, bodybuilding, and dance and fitness competitions. Follow him on Instagram @alwyncosgrove.

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