Settle for Average; Become Extinct.

“Does the world really need any more average homebuilding companies?”

It’s a question we have raised for a decade and a-half, since before the start of the Great Recession.

La Brea Tar Pits

Although the logical answer may be clear, it is hardly a rhetorical question.  What the question points to is a more important question:  What is the antidote to averageness?  How do you achieve sustainable competitive separation?

Sustainable.  Competitive.  Separation.  In more pointed words:  Permanent.  Dominant.  Advantage.

How do you achieve permanent dominant advantage?

Consider also the way we have depicted the question in a scenario we term “Life on the Serengeti”:  What happens to the average lion when there are no longer enough zebras, gazelles, and wildebeests?


Average is the road to extinction.

Consider the plight of RB Builders, the mythical homebuilding company portrayed in both editions of The Pipeline: A Picture of Homebuilding Production©, facing the world following the end of the halcyon period known as The Age of Homebuilder Entitlement®:

“In many ways, RB Builders was a product of that age, just another homebuilding company satisfied with occasionally adopting other builders’ “best practices”, content to be good, no-better-but-no-worse than the other builders with whom it competed, a building company with a middle-of-the-road approach to delivering the value its homebuyers demanded.  

“The previous 10 years had been good for RB Builders.  But, it was becoming a dangerous approach to business, because – as the saying goes – “the only thing in the middle of the road are yellow lines and dead armadillos”.  

“It was becoming a homebuilding no-man’s land. 

“Locked into an operating model – into organizational structures, management systems, processes, cultures, and employees – that could not deliver extraordinary levels of distinctive value, the company found itself dumped into a teeming mass of homebuilders that all looked the same, sounded the same, and priced the same.  Indistinguishable from other builders, and unable to create any type of competitive advantage, RB Builders was trapped and sinking – like a modern-day dinosaur – into the tar pits of average-ness.”

For more information and additional resources, to stay out of the tar pits, go to