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jerryking : competition   50

Technology platforms are losing control
MAY 22, 2019 | | Financial Times | John Gapper.
Amazon  competition  platforms 
may 2019 by jerryking
For dairy farmers like myself, USMCA is another kick in the teeth - The Globe and Mail
JULAINE TREUR
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 3, 2018

Each foreign dairy product on store shelves displaces dairy produced here in Canada, by Canadian farmers for Canadian consumers. This affects Canadian jobs and the livelihood of our farmers and their families. In order to produce milk in Canada, dairy farmers must purchase a share of the market, commonly called quota. This quota is measured in kilograms and one kilogram of quota is roughly the amount of butterfat a cow will produce in one day. A kilogram of quota ranges in price from province to province, from around $20,000 to $40,000 per kilo. Our farmers have paid good money for the ability to produce milk for their fellow citizens and now another portion of our market has just been given away.

A good chunk of our monthly milk cheque goes to mortgage payments on this quota as well as on our land and buildings. That cheque will be smaller once this deal comes into effect as we will be forced to cut back production by selling some of the cows in our herd, but we will still be required to make the same payments to the bank for quota that will be taken away from us.

For us, on our farm, we will be forced to take another hard look at our finances. We’ll likely put some projects on hold and re-evaluate any significant farm-related purchases. We’ll continue keeping the same long hours and working just as hard as we always have.
competition  crossborder  dairy  disappointment  international_trade  market_share  supply_management 
october 2018 by jerryking
The case for ending Amazon’s dominance
January 18, 2018 FT | Tim Harford.

Amazon offers:
* consumers, choice and convenience and a shopping search engine that is Google’s only serious rival,
* start-ups cheap, flexible cloud computing services to start and scale up.
competitors, e.g. Walmart tough competition,
* television networks, a tough competitor,
* Apple loyalists, a competing tablet computers at a price to make stop and think.

economists argue that corporate America is underinvesting.....rather than take a long-term view.......Amazon should be the shining counterexample....The online retailer’s strategy is driven not by short-term profit but by investment, innovation and growth. If only there were a few more companies like Amazon, capitalism would be in a happier spot. But there’s the rub: there aren’t more companies like it. It’s unique, and an increasingly terrifying force in online commerce. Should regulators act? If so, how?....

Begin by disposing of a poor argument: that Amazon must be challenged because it makes life miserable for its competitors, some of which are plucky mom-and-pop operations. However emotionally appealing this might seem, it should not be the business of regulators to prop up such businesses......Antitrust authorities should not be in the business of making life easy for incumbents. What, then, should they do? There are two schools of thought. One is to focus on consumers’ interest in quality, variety and price. This has been the standard approach in US antitrust policy for several decades. Since Amazon makes slim profits and charges low prices, it raises few antitrust questions.

The alternative view — which harks back to an earlier era of antitrust during which Standard Oil and later AT&T were broken up — argues that competition is inherently good even if it is hard to quantify a benefit to consumers and that society should be wary of large or dominant companies even if their behaviour seems benign. ....The narrowing in antitrust thinking is described by Lina Khan in a much-read article, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox”. Ms Khan berates modern antitrust thinking for its “hostility to false positives”.....Tim Harford disagrees, he shares modern antitrust’s hostility to false positives; there is a real cost to cumbersome and unnecessary meddling in a dynamic and rapidly evolving marketplace. US president Donald Trump’s history of publicly attacking Mr Bezos is worth pondering too: Harford asks, "do we really want the US government to have more discretion as to who is targeted, and why?"....Yet for all this,Tim Harford remains deeply uneasy about Amazon’s apparently unassailable position in online retail. Yes, customers are being well served at the moment. Yet the company has acquired formidable entrenched advantages, from the information about customers and the suppliers who sell through it, to the bargaining power it has over delivery companies, to the vast network of warehouses. Those advantages were earned, but they can also be abused.

Antitrust authorities face a difficult balancing act. Regulate Amazon and you may snuff out the innovation that we all say we want more of. Punish it for success and you send a strange message to entrepreneurs and investors. Ignore it and you risk leaving vital services in the hands of an invincible monopolist.

There are no easy options, but it is time to look for a way to split Amazon into two independent companies, each with the strength to grow and invest. If Amazon is such a wonderful company, wouldn’t two Amazons be even better?
Amazon  antitrust  AWS  contra-Amazon  competition  regulators  informational_advantages  Lina_Khan  mom-and-pop  platforms  predatory_practices  Tim_Harford 
january 2018 by jerryking
Conglomerates Didn’t Die. They Look Like Amazon. - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK JUNE 19, 2017

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods re-opens the debate about conglomerates which supposed to be dead, a relic of a bygone era of corporate America as investors supposedly want smaller, nimbler, more focused companies......Amazon is just one of several digital-economy conglomerates. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is another. Facebook is quickly becoming a conglomerate, too...... today’s tech-enabled conglomerates, are spending, and often losing, tens of billions of dollars annually on all sorts of projects and acquisitions that may or may not turn out to be successful. But investors are seemingly willing to give these new behemoths a free pass in the name of growth and innovation — until they aren’t.

If there is any lesson from the last breed of industrial conglomerates, it is that there is a natural life cycle to most of them....When it comes to Amazon (or Alphabet, or any of the new conglomerates), the question is whether there is something fundamentally different about these businesses given their grounding in digital information — especially as they expand into complex brick-and-mortar operations like upscale supermarkets.

In an age of big data and artificial intelligence, are businesses that look disparate really similar? And can one company’s leadership really oversee so many different businesses? When does it become too big to manage?...a recent article in the Yale Law Journal made a compelling case that Amazon has built perhaps the ultimate economic mousetrap — one impervious to the natural life cycle of a conglomerate, but one that might ultimately prove to be anticompetitive.

The author, Lina M. Khan, a Yale Law student who has written about antitrust law and competition policy, argued that Amazon had created a “platform market” and can use its size and scale to subsidize its entrance into new businesses through predatory pricing.....The economics of platform markets create incentives for a company to pursue growth over profits,.....Amazon’s role as both a distributor and cloud provider for many of its competitors gives it an unfair advantage. “This dual role also enables a platform to exploit information collected on companies using its services to undermine them as competitors,”.....Jeff Bezos, is clear. The man who is assembling the 21st century’s most fearsome new conglomerate once explained his view of competition this way: “Your margin is my opportunity.”
conglomerates  Andrew_Sorkin  Jeff_Bezos  Amazon  GE  Jeff_Immelt  unfair_advantages  Whole_Foods  Silicon_Valley  digital_economy  Alphabet  Facebook  lessons_learned  Yale  Charles_Munger  antitrust  competition  Berkshire_Hathaway  platforms  predatory_practices  diversification  FTC  margins  staying_hungry  life_cycle  Lina_Khan  competition_policy 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Internet Isn’t Killing Shopping Malls—Other Malls Are - WSJ
By Esther Fung
April 18, 2017

One common hallmark of a dead or dying mall is the closure of an anchor store. When that happened, fewer customers tended to visit, resulting in more store closures, which led to even fewer shoppers, and so on......Landlords have grappled with numerous threats over the years. Two decades ago, Blockbuster was eating into the revenue of movie chains, while big-box stores were battering smaller stand-alone retailers, noted Sandler O’Neill Partners analysts in a recent report.

This time, factors such as consumers being more thoughtful about their purchases after the recession, the overbuilding of retail centers and retailers’ focus on investing in more online shopping channels are pressuring mall landlords.

Property owners generally try to court trendier brands and avoid outdated retailers. In recent years, they have started shaking up their tenant mix more radically, moving away from full-price apparel brands and toward entertainment and food offerings.

That is resulting in a more dramatic separation of the strongest and weakest malls, with top-tier malls in cities with strong population and income growth receiving more investment and weaker malls suffering from neglect.
shopping_malls  competition  e-commerce  landlords  commercial_real_estate  retailers  anchor_tenants  top-tier 
april 2017 by jerryking
The High-Speed Trading Behind Your Amazon Purchase - WSJ
By CHRISTOPHER MIMS
Updated March 27, 2017

Beneath the placid surface of product pages lies an unseen world of bots, algorithms, flash crashes and fierce competition......Just beneath the placid surface of a typical product page on Amazon lies an unseen world, a system where third-party vendors can sell products alongside Amazon’s own goods. It’s like a stock market, complete with day traders, code-slinging quants, artificial-intelligence algorithms and, yes, flash crashes.

Amazon gave people and companies the ability to sell on Amazon.com in 2000, and it has since grown into a juggernaut, representing 49% of the goods Amazon ships. Amazon doesn’t break out numbers for the portion of its business driven by independent sellers, but that translates to tens of billions in revenue a year. Out of more than 2 million registered sellers, 100,000 each sold more than $100,000 in goods in the past year....It’s clear, after talking to sellers and the software companies that empower them, that the biggest of these vendors are growing into sophisticated retailers in their own right. The top few hundred use pricing algorithms to battle with one another for the coveted “Buy Box,” which designates the default seller of an item. It’s the Amazon equivalent of a No. 1 ranking on Google search, and a tremendous driver of sales.
fulfillment  Amazon  pricing  back-office  third-party  bots  algorithms  flash_crashes  competition  retailers  e-commerce  product_category  private_labels  stockmarkets  eBay  Wal-Mart  Jet  Christopher_Mims 
march 2017 by jerryking
With Competition in Tatters, the Rip of Inequality Widens - The New York Times
Eduardo Porter
ECONOMIC SCENE JULY 12, 2016

The new merger amounts to another step in the long decline of competition in many American industries.

It is a decline that stunts entrepreneurship, hinders workers’ mobility and slows productivity growth. Slowing this trend has emerged as a tempting new avenue to address the plight of a beleaguered working class. Reviving flagging American competition might even help stop America’s ever-widening inequality.

In April, President Obama issued an executive order calling on government agencies to look for ways to bolster competition in the industries they monitor.....There is plenty of evidence that corporate concentration is on the rise. Mr. Furman and Mr. Orszag report that between 1997 and 2007 the market share of the 50 largest companies increased in three-fourths of the broad industry sectors followed by the census......Studies have found increased concentration in agricultural businesses and wireless communications as well.....but is competition policy about increasing the economy’s efficiency, or is it about changing the distribution of the spoils....should antitrust be a major tool for addressing inequality?....How did the American economy get so concentrated? Technology surely helped. Tech giants like Google and Facebook benefit from economies of scale and network effects. ....Government watchdogs also messed up....How to fix corporate concentration? In industries perceived to be fairly concentrated, presume future mergers will be anticompetitive, take the burden of proof off the regulator’s shoulders and putting the onus on the merging companies to prove it is not....Regulations can also be tool: How about demanding that the FDA approve generic drugs more quickly?
competition  antitrust  monopolies  anticompetitive_behaviour  collusion  market_power  corporate_concentration  economies_of_scale  network_effects  platforms  income_inequality  regulators  regulation  competition_policy 
july 2016 by jerryking
The path to enlightenment and profit starts inside the office
(Feb. 2, 2016): The Financial Times | John Thornhill.

Competition used to be easy. That is in theory, if not always in practice. Until recently, most competent companies had a clear idea of who their rivals were, how to compete and on what field to fight.

One of the starkest - and scariest - declarations of competitive intent came from Komatsu, the Japanese construction equipment manufacturer, in the 1970s. As employees trooped into work they would walk over doormats exhorting: "Kill Caterpillar!". Companies benchmarked their operations and market share against their competitors to see where they stood.

But that strategic clarity has blurred in so many industries today to the point of near-invisibility thanks to the digital revolution and globalisation. Flying blind, companies seem happier to cut costs and buy back their shares than to invest purposefully for the future. Take the European telecommunications sector. Not long ago most telecoms companies were national monopolies with little, or no, competition. Today, it is hard to predict where the next threat is going to erupt.

WhatsApp, the California-based messaging service, was founded in 2009 and only registered in most companies' consciousness when it was acquired by Facebook for more than $19bn in 2014. Yet in its short life WhatsApp has taken huge bites out of the lucrative text messaging markets. Today, WhatsApp has close to 1bn users sending 30bn messages a day. The global SMS text messaging market is just 20bn a day.

Car manufacturers are rapidly wising up to the threat posed by new generation tech firms, such as Tesla, Google and Uber, all intent on developing "apps on wheels". Chinese and Indian companies, little heard of a few years ago, are bouncing out of their own markets to emerge as bold global competitors.

As the driving force of capitalism , competition gives companies a purpose, a mission and a sense of direction. But how can companies compete in such a shape-shifting environment? There are perhaps two (partial) answers.

The first is to do everything to understand the technological changes that are transforming the world, to identify the threats and opportunities early.

Gavin Patterson , chief executive of BT, the British telecoms group, says one of the functions of corporate leaders is to scan the horizon as never before. "As a CEO you have to be on the bridge looking outwards, looking for signs that something is happening, trying to anticipate it before it becomes a danger."

To that end, BT has opened innovation "scouting teams" in Silicon Valley and Israel, and tech partnerships with universities in China, the US, Abu Dhabi, India and the UK.

But even if you foresee the danger, it does not mean you can deal with it. After all, Kodak invented the first digital camera but failed to exploit the technology. The incentive structures of many companies are to minimise risk rather than maximise opportunity. Innovation is often a young company's game.

The second answer is that companies must look as intensively inwards as they do outwards (e.g. opposing actions). Well-managed companies enjoy many advantages: strong brands, masses of consumer data, valuable historic data sets, networks of smart people and easy access to capital. But what is often lacking is the ambition that marks out the new tech companies, their ability to innovate rapidly and their extraordinary connection with consumers. In that sense, the main competition of so many established companies lies within their own organisations.

Larry Page, co-founder of Google, constantly urges his employees to keep being radical. In his Founders' Letter of 2013, he warned that companies tend to grow comfortable doing what they have always done and only ever make incremental change. "This . . . leads to irrelevance over time," he wrote.

Google operates a 70/20/10 rule where employees are encouraged to spend 70 per cent of their time on their core business, 20 per cent on working with another team and 10 per cent on moonshots. How many traditional companies focus so much on radical ventures?

Vishal Sikka, chief executive of the Indian IT group Infosys, says that internal constraints can often be far more damaging than external threats. "The traditional definition of competition is irrelevant. We are increasingly competing against ourselves," he says.

Quoting Siddhartha by the German writer Hermann Hesse, Mr Sikka argues that companies remain the masters of their own salvation whatever the market pressures: "Knowledge can be communicated. Wisdom cannot." He adds: "Every company has to find its own unique wisdom." [This wisdom reference is reminiscent of Paul Graham's advice to do things that don't scale].

john.thornhill@ft.com
ambitions  brands  breakthroughs  BT  bureaucracies  competition  complacency  constraints  Fortune_500  incentives  incrementalism  Infosys  innovation  introspection  irrelevance  large_companies  LBMA  messaging  mission-driven  Mondelez  moonshots  opposing_actions  organizational_culture  outward_looking  Paul_Graham  peripheral_vision  radical  risk-avoidance  scouting  smart_people  start_ups  staying_hungry  tacit_knowledge  technological_change  threats  uniqueness  unscalability  weaknesses  WhatsApp  wisdom  digital_cameras  digital_revolution  historical_data 
april 2016 by jerryking
How to pick startup ideas
Slava Akhmechet: cofounder of RethinkDB — an open-source distributed database designed to help developers and operations teams work with unstructured data to build real-time applications.

How to pick startup ideas

25 Feb 2015
ideas  howto  self-deception  storytelling  unstructured_data  competitive_advantage  competition  entrepreneur  start_ups 
november 2015 by jerryking
Kobe’s competitiveness ‘scares a lot of people that are just comfortable being average’ - The Globe and Mail
JON KRAWCZYNSKI
MINNEAPOLIS — The Associated Press
Published Monday, Dec. 15 2014
Bryant has been compared to Jordan for a long time, in part because he dared to chase him. Where Bryant is every bit Jordan’s equal is in the tenacity that has kept him going through a torn Achilles tendon, bone-on-bone friction in his knees and now the painful rebuilding of a proud franchise.

“His competitiveness drives him in the off-season to work to be able to play at the level he plays,” Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. “His competitiveness during the games to dominate offensively and defensively and then his competitiveness of wanting to win. He’ll challenge teammates if need be and will do whatever it takes to try to get that edge.”

It’s the only way Bryant knows. And he learned by studying the best.

“I think when you look at Michael’s [Hall of Fame] speech,” Bryant said, referring to a speech in which Jordan cited those who he perceived to have gotten in his way over the years. “People really got a chance to see how he ticks and it scared a lot of people, right? But that’s just the reality of it. You can’t get to a supreme level without channelling the dark side a little bit.”

Bryant’s willingness to embrace the darkness has, in his own eyes, cast him as one of the league’s villains.
NBA  athletes_&_athletics  competition  competitive_advantage  basketball  Kobe_Bryant  competitiveness  Pablo_Picasso  averages  tenacity  injuries  dark_side  villains 
december 2014 by jerryking
Competition Is for Losers - WSJ
By PETER THIEL
Sept. 12, 2014

Adapted from Mr. Thiel's new book, with Blake Masters, "Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future," Mr. Thiel’s “Zero to One,” offers three prongs of his philosophy: 1) It is better to risk boldness than triviality. 2) A bad plan is better than no plan. 3) Sales matter just as much as product.
Peter_Thiel  competition  economics  Google  monopolies  books 
september 2014 by jerryking
Wal-Mart not a big, bad food buyer after all
12/17/2005|Western Farm Press Vol. 27 Issue 25, p22-22. 3/4p |Harry Cline.

The article presents information on competition between Wal-Mart store Inc. and other companies in the food business market. According to a food business expert, Roberta Cook the traditional supermarkets have cut their food prices quality and service in order to compete with Wal-Mart store. She says that even after the merger between traditional supermarkets their stock market prices has still continued declined as compare to the prices of the Wal-Mart store. Cook told the National American Agri-Women's convention that supermarket merger mania and traditional grocery store price cutting have failed to dethrone Wal-Mart's supermarkets.
Wal-Mart  fresh_produce  supermarkets  grocery  price-cutting  consolidation  competition  Roberta_Cook 
march 2014 by jerryking
Top 10 Business Plan Mistakes
March 15-21st, 2006 | Entrepreneur.com | Andrew Clarke.

1. The plan is poorly written.
2. The plan presentation is sloppy.
3. The plan is incomplete.
4. The plan is too vague.
5. The plan is too detailed.
6. The plan makes unfounded or unrealistic assumptions.
7. The plan includes inadequate research.
8. You claim there's no risk involved in your new venture.
9. You claim you have no competition.
10. The business plan is really no plan at all.
problems  business_planning  assumptions  market_research  competition  risk-assessment 
december 2012 by jerryking
Newt Gingrich wants you to make him run for president
February 5, 2007 | Fortune | Nina Easton.

Has anyone revitalized or created a bright spot in a flat or declining industry?
At the Tempe conference, Gingrich politely listens to such proposals as applying Toyota-style production-control techniques to the health system - and then slices through them with an alternative mantra of competition, deregulation, modernized information systems, and personal responsibility. ...In other words, in Gingrich's world consumer health care should look more like Travelocity...Instead, the Center for Health Transformation offers policy ideas to companies that want to get health-care costs off their backs but oppose government-imposed, universal-health-insurance plans as costly and burdensome. The center's roster of 75 clients is impressive, including insurers Blue Cross & Blue Shield and GE Healthcare, providers like the American Hospital Association, and employers like GM (Charts) and Ford (Charts). Clients pay fees ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 a year....Gingrich's own epiphany about a presidential run dates back three years, when he picked up Harold Holzer's "Lincoln at Cooper Union." The book tells the story of how Lincoln's lengthy 1860 speech in New York City - an intellectually rigorous rebuttal of slavery's legal grounding - wowed the Eastern establishment and transformed a gawky, badly dressed Western politician into a leading presidential candidate. Gingrich saw himself in this story of the underestimated outsider making good, despite the seeming hubris of comparing himself to Lincoln, and it now underpins his unorthodox quest for the presidency...Gingrich also says things like "If you want to shape history, it's useful to actually know history" without a hint of self-consciousness...Of the other Republican contenders for President he says, "We're not in the same business. They are running for the White House. I am trying to change the country."..."My planning horizons are 17 years. I want to give you a sense of scale," he explains, as if helping me focus on his long view of things. "I also do what I think the country needs. I don't operate under personal ambition." ...."There are 3,300 counties, 17,000 elected school boards, 60,000 cities and towns, 14,000 state legislators, 50 governors, and 535 elected federal legislators," he says.
profile  historians  healthcare  lean  books  Six_Sigma  innovation  best_practices  change_agents  long-term  unorthodox  decline  competition  deregulation  information_systems  personal_responsibility  underestimation  outsiders  Abraham_Lincoln  personal_ambition  intellectually_rigorous 
may 2012 by jerryking
Google's Turn to Quake? - WSJ.com
April 4, 2012 | WSJ | By ROBERT HAHN.

Google's Turn to Quake? IBM and Microsoft fought antitrust authorities on multiple continents, even as they lost their fleeting dominance....Antitrust policy is built on the notion that market concentration, collusion or nasty behavior toward rivals undermines efficiency by allowing producers to charge more and to block innovation. That's not a bad rule of thumb for "old economy" industries. Before Japanese auto makers broke through the barriers, Detroit charged too much, divvying up most of the surplus between workers and managers. Worse—much worse—auto industry technology and productivity stagnated, as stakeholders sheltered their pockets of privilege from the winds of change.

But high-tech industries in general, and information technology industries in particular, are an entirely different sort of beast. Market concentration and huge profits are typically a consequence of economies of scale and returns to intellectual property, not monopoly power. (It costs no more to produce 10 million copies of Microsoft Office than 10 copies.) And while the management of the current crop of winning companies may be as eager as monopolists of yore to bar the doors to rivals, rapid technological change denies them the opportunity.
Google  IBM  Microsoft  antitrust  competition  competitive_landscape  increasing_returns_to_scale  collusion  market_power  corporate_concentration  monopolies  economies_of_scale  intellectual_property  automotive_industry  productivity  winner-take-all  market_concentration  technological_change  returns_to_intellectual_property 
april 2012 by jerryking
Toronto’s pizza wars heat up (to about 900 F) - The Globe and Mail
CHRIS NUTTALL-SMITH
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Nov. 04, 2011
Chris_Nuttall-Smith  Toronto  competition  pizza 
november 2011 by jerryking
Moving beyond that flat-world theory - The Globe and Mail
May 2, 2011 | Globe and Mail | Harvey Schachter.

Declining global stability is real and the days of a stable world are gone. Mark Anderson, editor of the Strategic News Service, lays out 10 provocative pieces of advice.
Climate change is real
Global consumer explosion is on
Your company will lose money if you go to China
Don't try to serve both the consumer and enterprise technology markets
Innovation is a creative process
Protect intellectual property
The world is not flat
Be prepared for Chinese competitors
Manage for currency manipulation
flat_world  Harvey_Schachter  climate_change  BRIC  China  Chinese  competition  innovation  intellectual_property  volatility  currencies 
october 2011 by jerryking
Strategy: How to get ahead by being different - The Globe and Mail
marjo johne
Globe and Mail Update
Published Thursday, Sep. 22, 2011

Christie Henderson, partner at Henderson Partners LLP in Oakville, just
west of Toronto, says one way she established herself and her accounting
firm as leaders in personal tax accounting was by writing a series of
Tax Tips for Canadians for Dummies books.

Writing the books is time-consuming, she says, but it’s worth the effort
because the books increase brand recognition and position Henderson
Partners as an authority in its field.

“It immediately makes us unique in the eyes of our customers,” says Ms.
Henderson. “In addition to all the unique and proprietary things we’re
doing service-wise, we can also say that we’re the company that writes
the Taxes for Dummies books.
branding  competition  differentiation  howto  JCK  management_consulting  personal_branding  thought_leadership  writing 
september 2011 by jerryking
Stop Looking for Ideas, Look for Problems to Grow Your Business - India Chief Mentor - WSJ
April 19, 2010, | WSJ | By Gautam Gandhi. Stop looking for
good ideas. That’s right, you read this correctly. Please don’t speak of good ideas ever again. Instead tell me about good problems. They'll most likely bring a business opportunity, Where are the problems?

If you look around there are problems everywhere. Question things you
take for granted and think to yourself: Is there a better way? When you
have your next business meeting, whether it is with a client or
customer, ask them what their biggest problems are. You will be
surprised by what people tell you. Hopefully, you will start to notice
patterns and will soon identify a problem to solve. Better still, if it
is a problem that affects you directly.

When you think of the problem that you are going to solve, ensure that:

You are tackling it for a sizable market
People are willing to pay for your solution
You assess your rivals

The last one is important. Never think: “I don’t have any competition.”
growth  problem_solving  pattern_recognition  idea_generation  problems  challenges  worthiness  messiness  uncharted_problems  large_markets  competition  questions  ideas  assumptions  criteria  India  pain_points  discernment  curiosity  dissatisfaction  opportunities  inquisitiveness  Michael_McDerment  worthwhile_problems 
july 2011 by jerryking
To Beat Foreign Copycats, Sell Services -
February 24, 2011 | BusinessWeek | By Vivek Wadhwa. Don't
compete with imitators by increasing production, argues Henry Chesbrough
in his latest book (Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business
to Grow and Compete in a New Era. ). Instead, lure repeat customers with
services.

Wadhwa is a visiting scholar at University of California-Berkeley,
senior research associate at Harvard Law School, and director of
research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research
Commercialization at Duke University. Follow him on twitter—@vwadhwa
Vivek_Wadhwa  competitive_strategy  competition  book_reviews  copycats  services  HLS 
april 2011 by jerryking
The Battle for Accounting Software -
October 21, 2010 | BusinessWeek | By Venessa Wong.
Dozens of startups are challenging Intuit's QuickBooks with new online
tools that aim to make financial management easier
Freshbooks  Intuit  start_ups  competition 
november 2010 by jerryking
Crovitz: Antitrust Laws Don’t Make Sense with 21st Century Technology - WSJ.com
AUGUST 3, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By L. GORDON
CROVITZ. The Antitrust Anachronism: When will technology’s ever faster
cycles of creative destruction spell the end of antitrust law? The
Sherman Act and later antitrust laws were supposed to protect consumer
interests. That’s not so easy when regulators have to deal with
industries as different as oil, with its cartels and long product
cycles, and technology, where fast change is a constant necessity for
survival....the traditional approach to antitrust makes no sense in an
industry like technology, in which new entrants routinely topple
seemingly invincible market leaders....Scale matters...The size of the
audience is important...The bottom line is that by the time regulators
can assess a technology market, the market has often moved on.

*
antitrust  competition  21st._century  product_cycles  creative_destruction  regulation  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  constant_change  scaling  new_entrants  accelerated_lifecycles  regulators  market_leadership  cartels  consumer_protection  consumer_interests  market_sizing 
august 2010 by jerryking
Local Search Heats Up
May 27, 2010 | BusinessWeek | By Nick Leiber. Google, Bing,
Yahoo, and a slew of startups boost their focus on small business.
Fewer than half of all U.S. small businesses have websites or advertise
on the Net, Nielsen Online reports...
Hundreds of new services have cropped up, aiming for a piece of the
$17.5 billion that consultancy BIA/Kelsey says U.S. small businesses
will spend on Net ads this year. By 2014, BIA estimates, that figure
will grow to $36.7 billion, a quarter of all local advertising. "There's
an increasing sense of urgency around having an effective online
marketing strategy," says Court Cunningham, CEO of online ad agency
Yodle, which caters to small businesses.
City_Voice  search  local_advertising  competition  small_business  advertising_agencies 
july 2010 by jerryking
Marchex - A Call Advertising and Small Business Marketing Company
(1) Call Advertising. Phone calls are at the heart of digital
advertising. With the Marchex Pay-For-Call Exchange and our industry
leading Call Tracking and Analytics products, we are ready to make your
phone ring AND tell you who’s calling. (2) Small Business Marketing. Get
proven marketing solutions for your small business customers -
including award-winning online advertising and cutting edge reputation
management products.
City_Voice  competition  local_advertising  small_business 
july 2010 by jerryking
SMBs Allocate More Than Half of Total Ad Budget to Online,
Aug 7, 2006 | PR Newswire | "Because SMBs are busy running
their daily operations, they are often time-strapped and may be
unfamiliar with the challenges of optimizing a website, monitoring the
site traffic and effectively selecting online advertising venues to
deliver the highest ROI," said Blair Heavey, DirectoryM's chief
executive officer. "DirectoryM serves as a trusted online advisor to
SMBs to help them simplify their local advertising needs and improve
their search engine optimization in the form of page one results for
most local business service requests."
ProQuest  small_business  local_advertising  City_Voice  competition  DirectoryM  search 
july 2010 by jerryking
Tiger Woods and the Superstar Effect - WSJ.com
APRIL 3, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By JONAH LEHRER. The
Superstar Effect. From the playing field to the boardroom, when one
competitor is clearly the best, the others don't step up their game—they
give up. As Tiger Woods returns to golf, Jonah Lehrer looks at the
nature of competition.
Tiger_Woods  competition  overachievers  Jonah_Lehrer  GE  Jack_Welch  winner-take-all  blockbusters  superstars  high-achieving 
april 2010 by jerryking
What Color Is Your Poinsettia? - WSJ.com
December 14, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | By BART ZIEGLER.
Classic Red Christmas Plant, Gets a Psychedelic Makeover, Driving Some
Purists Batty. This year, big-box stores, independent garden centers
and supermarkets are offering poinsettias -- the potted plants long
associated with Christmas -- that have been sprayed with pigments or
dyes, dusted with glitter and even coated with metallic effects. These
treatments, said to be harmless to the plants, turn the normally red,
pink or white leaves into a riot of purple, blue, fuchsia, yellow,
orange, silver or gold....industry's chief problem: a decline in
interest in gardening and plants among younger consumers.
Sheridan  nurseries  horticultural  big-box  supermarkets  decline  innovation  competition  gardening 
february 2010 by jerryking
RETHINKING EVERY RULE OF REINVENTION
May 1, 2006 | Advertising Age | by Scott Bedbury. Great
brands like Nike and Starbucks have transcended the commodity nature of
their categories and become global brand leaders. Essential to both
brands is a nontraditional view toward marketing, particularly in the
area of consumer research, and a cultural commitment to risk taking and
the inevitable mistakes that happen through continuous innovation. For
these brands reinvention is not a one-time event but an ongoing
commitment. Here are four things to keep in mind as you consider ways to
reinvent your brand: 1. Study your competition above all else. 2. Test
your way into it. 3. Think in terms of current distribution. 4. Avoid
mistakes.
consumer_research  branding  risk-taking  incrementalism  innovation  reinvention  Nike  Starbucks  organizational_culture  brands  experimentation  trial_&_error  competition  distribution_channels 
january 2010 by jerryking
Feeding Time
Jun 01, 2004 | Harvard Business Review | by Paul Kedrosky.
As the title suggests, it's about RSS (and Atom) syndication. It
mentions bloggers as early adopters of RSS. But the focus,
interestingly, is on syndication rather than on blogging.
HBR  Paul_Kedrosky  business_models  competition  internet 
january 2010 by jerryking
No time like bankruptcy for squeezing competitors
July 13, 2009 |The Globe & Mail | George Stalk Jr.

In bankruptcy, your competitor's major issue is a shortage of cash - which is what led it into bankruptcy in the first place. Take advantage of it.

You can put pressure on that shortage by further straining your rival's ability to generate cash, or boost the cash it needs to run its business, forcing your competitor to yield market share, customers, product and service offerings. It is fight versus flight for the bankrupt competitor.

How to raise the cash ante? Consider some of the following tactics:

Introduce extended terms. Offer your competitors' customers longer payment terms. Your rival will either lose the business of customers that bite, or be forced to do the same, thus reducing its ability to generate much-needed cash.

Consignment pricing, where the customer pays only after the product is sold, is the ultimate extended term and will be difficult for a competitor in bankruptcy to match.

Boost marketing expenditures. Raising your advertising and point-of-sale spending will have a similar effect: Either your competitor will also have to spend more, or risk losing customers that you attract.

Lengthen the "tail" of the revenue stream. Add more after-sale services and spiffs - if your competitor has to do the same, it will raise the cash costs of getting and keeping customers.

Launch more products. New product development and introduction eats up a lot of cash - and a cash-short competitor is unlikely to be able to do the same. If you go all out, introducing many more new products than a bankrupt competitor possibly can, you could make your rival's offering obsolete in the minds of customers, forcing it into fire sales in a panic to raise cash.[JCK: panicked selling off of assets]

Pursue your competitor's most profitable customers (perhaps identified via geofencing). Good management teams know where their company makes and doesn't make money. Great management teams know this about their competitors.

This insight can be used to target customers, geography, products and services of the bankrupt competitor to gain market share.

The competitor will be hesitant to counter your move against its most profitable customers because it needs the cash these customers generate. It will be more likely to maintain the status quo with these customers in the hopes the cash will keep coming.

Lawsuits. Now is the time to file the lawsuit you've always wanted to. Your bankrupt competitor will not have the discretionary resources to fight and will likely come to terms quickly.

There are also broader strategies to consider. Among them:

Sell against the competitor. When companies are in trouble, customers may worry that they won't be around to service products or provide future upgrades.

This fear can be a powerful weapon: These customers may be persuaded to take their business to companies on a sounder footing.

Go after the best talent (poaching). Anxiety about the plight of the competitor will be just as rampant among your rival's employees and suppliers as it is among customers. You can leverage that angst by going after top talent and strong suppliers - and offer terms and conditions that your competitor will have a tough time matching.

Force the sale of attractive assets held by your bankrupt competitor. A competitor in protection is not its own boss. The creditor committee is likely to care more for the cash it can get from an asset sale than who buys the assets.
bankruptcies  BCG  competition  competitive_advantage  consignment_pricing  geofencing  George_Stalk_Jr.  hardball  lawsuits  marketing  new_products  offensive_tactics  poaching  product_development  selling_off  supply_chain_squeeze  tough-mindedness 
july 2009 by jerryking
Tough competition
Mar 2008 | Report on Business Magazine pg. 78 | by Sasha Chapman.
beef  recipes  Sasha_Chapman  black-box  competition 
may 2009 by jerryking
Up the Ladder, Step by Step - WSJ.com
Nov. 26, 2008 WSJ book review by Philip Delves Broughton of
"There's No Elevator To the Top" By Umesh Ramakrishnan.

He describes meeting the chairman of Nestle, who complains that his
rivals are no longer Mars or Pepsi but telephone companies. "Five years
ago seventy percent of the pocket money of kids was to buy chocolates,
ice cream; now eighty percent is in telecom," the Nestle boss tells Mr.
Barrault. "Can you imagine the impact for my business?"
book_reviews  career  Managing_Your_Career  discretionary_spending  leadership  CEOs  Philip_Delves_Broughton  competition  Theodore_Levitt  Nestlé  Pepsi  mobile_phones  confectionery_industry 
february 2009 by jerryking
Got a competitor on your radar? Make decisions like a fighter pilot
11-19-2007 Globe & Mail article by George Stalk,

Col. John Boyd concluded that difference between fighter pilots with the
most kills and all the others was that the leading scorers exercised
faster OODA loops (the pattern of Observation, Orientation, Decision and
Acting). The OODA loop, Col. Boyd postulated, is faster for a winner
than for a laggard (or loser). Col. Boyd's supporting data and
conclusion convinced the USAF to redesign not only its training of
pilots but the very nature of the equipment they used to insure that,
over all, its pilots had faster OODA loops than their opponents.
George_Stalk_Jr.  competitive_advantage  strategy  pilots  OODA  time-based  competition  USAF  decision_making 
february 2009 by jerryking
Upstart Quigo breaches mighty Google 'moat' - and I missed it
March 1, 2008 G&M column by Avner Mandelman on the need for
companies to build a protective moat (competitive advantage)--such an
advantage should GROW year after year. Once in place, it is easier to
calculate cashflow and cash flow certainty.
Avner_Mandelman  competition  competitive_advantage  cash_flows  certainty 
february 2009 by jerryking

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