The Three Cordwainers

A story about positioning.

A digital art, impressionist image showing an old Italian shopping street with shoe stores
A street with cordwainer’s shops. Image generated with AI by DALL-E.

A street had three cordwainers who were all struggling to make a living.

One of them thought, “Who are those other cordwainers to steal customers away from me, when I am so much better at my trade?” And he put up a sign outside his shop, which read: “Here is the best cordwainer in town!”

His neighbour, who had just come to open his shop for the day, saw the sign and thought, “Who is this man to think that he is better than me?” And he put up a sign too, saying “Here is the best cordwainer in the world!”

The third cordwainer arrived, and when he saw both signs, he put up a sign of his own, and it said: “Here is the best cordwainer in the street.”

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