Competing With Microsoft By Ignoring Them
from the so-that's-how-you-do-it... dept
One thing that you always hear among new startup companies looking for venture capital is figuring out how they're going to avoid competing with Microsoft. Obviously, it's not true of all startups - some of whom are in completely different areas. However, any software (and many services) company always gets the question "well, how will you deal with it when Microsoft enters your space?" Companies that don't have a good answer don't get funded. Robert Cringely's latest column is all about the best way to compete with Microsoft - and it's a bit counterintuitive, but it makes a lot of sense. The companies that have successfully competed with Microsoft have done so by not worrying about Microsoft. In other words, they've been focused on building innovative products that their customers can use. Microsoft, for all its strong points, doesn't have the greatest track record at actually innovating (I can already hear some of you scoffing). What they are good at (and, you have to admit, they are good at it) is taking innovative ideas that others have come up with, and then putting a nice, user friendly interface on them and getting it out in the market. So, as Cringely points out, when you decide to turn and face Microsoft and compete directly with them, you're going to be in a lot of trouble - because you've set the rules of the game on their terms, and they've got a lot more money and experience to beat anyone else on those terms. Instead, by pretty much ignoring Microsoft, and coming up with new and innovative products companies can out-innovate them, and not face real competition from them.