Don’t forget, they can hit you back



I just saw a Wired article headed “Facebook could sink Skype with video call app update”. The style of the headline is pretty common, especially in tech, where the latest new thing is going to kill off whatever we all use now. Of course, we have seen massive changes and the rapid demise of once-dominant products and companies. And it makes good copy (well, I read it! And it makes a reasonable  point). But it encourages a dangerous mindset, that if you launch the right product you can take out the competition.

In reality, this rarely happens. In most cases, the incumbents fight back (it’s the ones that don’t that get taken down). They react to the new upstart (that will be you), marshall their forces and attack. Often, their superior fire power (size, resources, brand position, customer base) means they win, or at least defend their position effectively.

It’s called competitive reaction. Yet I speak to so many companies that are going to ‘disrupt the market’ that never give it a thought.

If you upset someone in person, they are likely to give you a black eye. It’s the same in business. Forget it at your cost.

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