Five Innovative Firms Face The Competition

from the who-will-survive? dept

Innovators don’t always survive. In fact, there are plenty of stories of innovative companies who blazed the path for others to follow, but who were trampled by all those fast followers. has written up a piece looking at five such innovative companies, all of whom are now facing strong competition from established companies: Netflix, TiVo, PalmSource, RIM and Vonage. All five have their similarities. They all came first in their space, and they have customers who absolutely adore them. Now, they all have some pretty big competition. So, the question for all of these companies is whether they can adapt and stay ahead, or if they’ll be historical footnotes. All have been adjusting, from Netflix and TiVo’s rumored deal with each other, to the new smartphone RIM released, to Vonage’s push to get bundled in with Linksys and Netgear equipment. Whether or not that’s enough remains to be seen. It’s both interesting (and encouraging) to note that, while all of these companies seem to have various patents, none seem to simply be relying solely on those patents as a competitive advantage, but rather are realizing they really do need to offer more innovative products. Given the trend lately of companies using patent licensing to impede, rather than promote, innovative uses of technology, this is a good thing. As we’ve said before, sustainable competitive advantage is the real myth of IT. Building up successive, fleeting competitive advantages is how a company really needs to maintain its position or grow long-term.

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