Vail Daily editor’s view: How we compete matters | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily editor’s view: How we compete matters

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

I had a good conversation Monday with a hair stylist about competition.

The way we got there was someone had recently told me they “knew” she was someone we had bullied into an “exclusive” agreement, which was interesting because we don’t in fact do such things.

So I went to see her. Turned out the story was not entirely accurate. She had read something about us allegedly doing this, and was happy to learn we don’t really compete that way.

I’ve been accused a time or two of being a competitive person. I do try hard. I do aim to win. I am driven in my career to be the best, which of course is a whole ‘nother thing from in fact being the best. The mere reality of not actually being the best (yet) doesn’t stop me from the quest, however. Quite the opposite.

But a win means nothing unless you earn it the right way. If anything, that’s the higher standard. What’s a victory if you cheat?

She said she doesn’t even want to hear where someone got a bad haircut and has come to her to fix it.

Her focus is on fixing the haircut, not what someone else has done.

Exactly. She doesn’t tear down her competition in an effort to get ahead. She just does her best to do a superior job. And she’s got competitors all over town, each shop trying to hang on as tough times shrink the overall pool of customers.

Likewise, we’re not going to resort to trashing rivals, thinking that somehow will put us in a better light.

Besides, we don’t exactly retain that voice of the independent observer in any conversation about our business or competitors.

Such judgments are the province of those we’re supposed to serve. That would be readers, advertisers and community service groups themselves.

I include community service groups because they became a prime focus after our company purchased the Vail Daily in 1993, and Bob Brown became publisher. If anything, that focus intensified under Steve Pope and Steve Gall in their tenures.

The healthier the community service groups, the healthier the community. Apply that to engaging readers and helping the businesses in the community thrive, and there you go: win, win, win.

Winning for us is helping make our community better. That’s a worthwhile quest for victory, and enough of a challenge on its own to keep us fully occupied.

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at drogers@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2920. He welcomes your comments.