Since 1891, when Dr. James Naismith invented basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts, the game has been defined by size and strength. Its history features giants, both literally and figuratively: Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James are all 6’8” or taller.
A shorter player has only a few options, as the odds in the traditional model are against you. You can lower your head and try to attack the trees. Or you can reinvent the game.
Steph Curry (6’3”) chose the latter.
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In a world of hard-charging men who drive to the basket and play above the rim, Curry relies on his agility, ball handling and shooting. In doing so, he has changed the game.
Curry can shoot from anywhere: the three point line, half court, it doesn’t matter. When he enters the gym, you’d better cover him. As a result, size no longer matters, because the action is happening 20-plus feet from the basket.
Last week, Curry passed Jesus Shuttlesworth (aka Ray Allen) as the person with the most career three-pointers in NBA history. Curry did it in 500 games fewer than Allen. That is crazy.
But he did more than that. He changed the way kids all around the world play basketball in their driveways. And he should change the way you, as an entrepreneur, think as well.
Curry took a look at the industry he wanted to conquer and rejected the status quo because it didn’t benefit him. Instead, he took his perceived weaknesses (lack of size and strength), flipped the model so those were irrelevant, and instead made his strengths the priority.
As a result, his impact on the sport rivals that of anyone in history.
Be like Steph Curry.
Look at your situation and assess whether you’re beating your head against a wall you’ll never climb over. If you are, invent a door and then walk through. If you do, no doubt you’ll be leading a revolution, and many will be lined up to follow you.