How to Compete against Tech Giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft
The tech industry has kept expanding over the years but past year it has just exploded. It is the dominant driver in recent years of economic growth.
The tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft don’t stop from exercising the advantages they have against contenders. That doesn’t mean they’re invulnerable. It’s the other way around; they are more vulnerable than we think.
Without further ado here are some principles for successfully competing against the tech Giants.
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Make your go-to-market strategy based on network effects
James Currier defines “network effects” as “mechanisms in a product and business where every new user makes the product/service/experience more valuable to every other user.” in The Network Effects Bible. For example, when all your friends use Facebook, it creates a far better experience for you. They are difficult to copy and very cheaper than ad-based or sales-based strategies.
A study done by NFX shows that network effects are responsible for 70% of the value created in tech companies since 1994 from 336 companies that made a valuation of over $1 Billion. Companies like Figma have contended and won due to network effects.
There are other ways apart from this to compete against the tech goliaths, but network effects makes the difficult task relatively easy.
Have a unique feature in your product
If your product, service, or platform has a unique feature from your competitors then it becomes much easier to compete with them. This is true even if you want to compete with big tech giants.
For example, Shopify is flourishing on the grounds because they are a selling platform that assists the connection between outsider vendors and purchasers, while Amazon is a product aggregator that controls the relationship. A business analyst Ben Thompson explains this dichotomy:
“This is the way Shopify over the long haul be the greatest contender to Amazon even as it is an organization that Amazon can’t compete with: Amazon is seeking after customer and bringing traders and vendors onto its platforms on its own terms; Shopify is allowing vendors a chance to separate themselves while bearing no risk on the off chance that they fall flat.”
Figma has a unique feature in their product that helps them to stand out from their competitor Adobe in the space of design tools. Their product is built for browsers and supports technical teams with hyper-collaborative features.
The most ideal approach to compete is to not compete head-on.
Make your product 10x better, if no unique feature
Operating in a well established market comes in with greater responsibility to provide an amazing product. If you are providing equivalent or just somewhat better than your competitors, then there are high chances you will lose.
An example of how a company can lose if their product is not 10x better from their competitors is Firefox. Firefox lost its product edge and got run over by Google because Goggle built a better browser.
Likewise, global pandemic has prompted a mass move to remote work, Zoom has encountered fast and phenomenal growth. Why? They’ve developed a product that empowers consistently smooth video calls compared with their slacking and buggy competitors, Google Meet, and Microsoft’s Skype.
An email application Superhuman is building a 10x better email tool for potential users that contends with Google’s Gmail, Apple’s Mail, and Microsoft’s Outlook. We’ll keep on seeing new businesses construct rival products that contend and win against tech giants through a fundamentally better product.
Differentiate your company structure
The structure of your company is reflected on the products your company creates. Melvin Conway in his “How Do Committees Invent” wrote:
“Any organization that designs a system (defined more broadly here than just information systems) will inevitably produce a design whose structure is a copy of the organization’s communication structure”
A study done by one Harvard Business School found that “co-located, focused product groups made software that tended more toward firmly coupled, solid codebases. Though the open-source projects brought in more modular, decomposed code bases.”
As a result, open-source codebases took into account faster, more independent deployment cycles than their more customary, co-located counterparts.
Take a look at your greatest rivals and run an organization that glances and works in a radically different manner. For instance, be remote-first, grasp open-source, or run a non-hierarchical company. At the point when you look and work in a different way, the things you make — from your codebase to your business plan to your product strategy — will naturally go with the same pattern.
Fear the startups you don’t know about yet
The tech goliaths are frequently a distraction to the startup founders from the competition they should really be worried about. Paul Graham, Y Combinator co-founder put it as follows:
“The people at Google are shrewd, however no more astute than you; they’re not as motivated, in light of the fact that Google won’t go out of business if this one product fizzles; and even at Google they have a ton of bureaucracy to slow them down. What you should fear, as a startup, isn’t the set up players but the startups you don’t know exist yet. They’re far more hazardous than Google since, similar to you, they are cornered creatures… You ought to contend with what another person could be doing, not just what you can see people doing.”
At last, contending with one or more tech giants is a decent problem to have. When you’ve built something that grabs their full attention, this because you’ve discovered a major chance. Microsoft and Google might be cutting into Slack’s market shares, yet Slack has fabricated a $15 billion+ organization with a huge number of users and thousands of employees that keep on seeing solid development.
This is definitely not a lose-lose situation, and you don’t need to turn into a multi-billion dollar organization to have a huge impact. The world requires more organizations that create jobs where aspiration and balance are in check, built purposeful things that people love and throughout maintain sustainability.