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    « Branding AEC Reprographics - 3 Scenarios | Main | Branding Wisdom »

    July 14, 2006

    The Definition of Competition

    As markets ebb and flow successful businesses morph to the changing market conditions.  Business that can't change to meet these changes go away.  Competition is the phenomenon that facilitates these changes.  If you are changing your business model or are in the middle of a market that is morphing identifying your competition can be challenging.  You may be sitting face to face with people who tell you they are NOT your competition, or people that are fearful of your new initiatives but you do not believe you are a threat.

    In a past life I founded a software company called Digital Paper.  We created a product to view engineering drawings over the Internet.  We incubated the company in the offices of another technology company which we gave equity for in-kind rent and services.  As we started to bring on customers and gain attention this other company started demonstrating a prototype of a product that looked very similar.  In some cases prospects coming to the office to see our product were shown their product.  This was maddening because our prospects were considering buying their product instead of ours.  When we confronted them with this they replied "it is not competitive, it uses different technology than yours."    I couldn't accept it.  Needless to say they stopped being our partners very quickly.

    It was at this point I developed a crystal clear understanding of competition that I have used ever since.  Competition is where your prospect sees two alternatives for solving the same business problem.

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