You cannot lead in everything in your market – but lead in something!

Profits are the rewards for making a unique, or at least a distinct, contribution in a meaningful area. What is meaningful is decided by the market and the customer.

It doesn’t mean that a business has to be the giant of its industry to be a leader. Nor does it have to be first in every single product line or technology in which it is engaged.

To be big is not necessarily the same as being leader.

In many industries the largest company is by no means the most profitable one, since it has to carry product lines, supply markets, or apply technologies where it cannot do a distinct, let alone a unique job.

The second spot, or even the third spot is often preferable. It may make possible the concentration on one segment of the market, on one class of customer or one application of the technology and be a genuine leader in that.

A company that wants economic results has to have leadership in something of real value to the customer or market. It may be in its service or it may be in its ability to convert ideas into salable products speedily and at low cost.

Source: Managing for Results, Peter F. Drucker