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It's not about struggling up an existing pyramid, it's about building your own.

Lewis -- your philosophy served you well, I'm sure of it. It is quite wise to decide what success means to you.

Bob -- thank you for visiting and adding to the conversation. You got it: human potential, as in what it means to you, the best version of your self.

Stephen -- my dear fellow marketer, you bring up an interesting point. I did not push it far enough in my post. Yes, success generates success... it happens also for us alone. The more we feel successful, the better we perform. It's what makes us human. And we do want recognition. You remind me of an important point I learned through Ben Zander in "The Art of Possibility": be the board. In other words, own the stage. As Lewis said, it's about us knowing who we are. As Bob shared, we learn to be curious and stretch.

Recently I made a comment at Make it Great, Phil Gerbishack's blog that might help us here: if we take the judgment lens away, mistakes are practice. Winners take all only if we think about it that way.

Valeria: it's funny, but when you look at the mob mentality of the market -- look at the blog community as a great example of this -- Godin's quote resonates. Authors and e-luminaries do seem to have more traffic and "heft", regardless of vapid content and boneless commentary. Why? Social proof, in all likelihood. Fame begets more fame. Paris Hilton is famous for being famous.

Contests pitting bloggers against bloggers, the Z-list gaming on Squidoo, blog posts about blogs, etc. Maybe I'm an outlier, but going through Mack's top 25, I come up with a small handful I find worth reading. None of what I'd consider the best marketing writing on the web is on the list, either.

As such, I don't think we do live in a winner take all environment, regardless of how hard the media wants us to believe it. American Idol shows us that the stage itself, not the winning, is what's important, because our audience finds us through our exposure.

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