I was inspired by many of the business owners I met at the BALLE conference, but two in particular stood out for their lesson in the ways that sharing and openness with the competition actually benefit the business.
Judy Wicks, of Philadelphia's White Dog Café developed an entirely organic, local, cruelty-free menu for her restaurant and bar.
Judy defines her mission in four parts: serving our customers, serving our community, serving the earth, and serving each other. Click here for more information on her vision.
Don Shaffer, of San Francisco's Comet Skateboards introduced new environmentally-friendly adhesives and other materials into his line of skateboards.
The website states, "We are working with companies and universities worldwide to assist in developing "Green" BIO BASED epoxies, reinforcements, and coatings for the future." Click here for a rundown of the elements of Comet's manufacturing process, and a list of links to companies they work with and organizations they support.
Both might easily have decided that this was part of their niche, their unique appeal. Instead, both decided to go out and educate other business owners, to share their ‘secrets’ and sources with their competition. Not only did this mean that there is more of a good thing, but it meant that rather than losing market share---as traditional business theory might expect---they were in fact rallying other business owners to help them grow the market!