I’ve seen a growing number of conversations recently about certain industries which tend to be collaborative. Here in northern Colorado, one of the most popular is the micro-breweries, who tend to be open, sharing, and generous. 

That might seem odd because there’s a high concentration of these businesses here, but it’s still the mindset of how they work. It’s attractive, energetic, and creative.

Others have noticed that our community of startups seems to be MUCH more collaborative here than in, say, the San Francisco Bay Area. When people travel there, they notice that the environment seems much more competitive and protective.

What’s going on?

Part of this is cultural, but most of it is the feeling that there are only a limited number of resources. Limited market, so I have to steal customers from you. Limited potential employees, so I can’t let my folks talk to yours.

The local restaurant scene seems extremely competitive, largely because our town is overrun with eateries. But I’ve seen other cities where the reverse is true, where people don’t worry about sharing information, projects, and marketing.

My point is that this is an attitude you can choose.

“Resources” depends on how you choose to create your business. The business model basically defines who you identify as your customers, your channels, and your competition.

So if you’re feeling beat up by competition, maybe it’s time to think about alternative business models. Because worrying is overrated.