The concept is prevalent in every industry and aspect of life and nature. It is the direct product of niche exploration. As organisms diversify and explore new niches, there is bound to be an individual with an adaptation that happens to correspond perfectly with a niche. When this happens, the well-adapted organism can dominate the competition and force the competitors to either leave, die, or mimic. A dominant individual in an ecosystem or industry can cause a wave of new competitors that have copied the advantageous trait. Eventually, the entire system possesses the once dominant trait.
Domination only occurs when a niche perfectly aligns with specific adaptations. This is to say that an individual cannot dominate unless their skills perfectly fit their environment. For example, Tom Brady probably wouldn’t have won so many championships if the team, coach and specific matchups weren’t the way they were. Often we think of “the stars aligning” to allow an individual to dominate, but from a bottom up perspective an individual with a specific skillset found a specific scenario.
Let’s look at the concept first through the lense of biology. When you go for a walk outside, you’ll notice that most of the plants are green and the animals are brown. The reason for the conformity is because the green chlorophyll and brown melanin were both very effective at absorbing light. The dominance of those pigments was mimicked by the competition until the advantageous trait becomes commonplace in the ecosystem.
Similarly, dinosaurs that were better adapted for flying could maintain their position as a top predator. The dominance of flying predators would eventually lead to the evolution of birds. It’s important to recognize that mimicry can occur through adaptation and natural selection as well as a change in behavior. Behavioral mimicry occurs much quicker since individuals can learn from dominant traits.
This concept is the reason matter exists in the forms that it does. Energetically, the most stable form of quarks are either up or down. Other forms of quarks exist but the dominance of up and down quarks is mimicked and they become the most common form of matter in the universe.
Domination and mimicry doesn’t only affect the natural world, it has played a part in shaping much of the world of humans. Planting crops in rows and alternating plants was so agriculturally dominant that it has become the standard practice for farming today. The Internet was a new niche to be explored by companies; the first to make usable websites dominated and eventually every company has a site online.
Watching sports can be fun not only because of the uncertainty of the game’s outcome but also the changing style of the game. For example, when the Heat won two championships with a shooting big man in Chris Bosh, the league started to see more big men shooting threes. When the Heat were crushed by the ball movement of the Spurs, the league shifted more toward passing and teamwork. Both strategies proved to be dominant, at least for a season, before the rest of the league mimicked the successful trait.
Domination and mimicry are most easily viewed in retrospect but a good sense of trends allows you to detect a dominant individual in the moment. Any league or industry is like an ecosystem: if there is an open niche it will be explored. If an individual possesses abilities that fit perfectly with the niche, domination will likely follow. This means that in order for you to become dominant, you must first determine which niche best fits your unique skillset.