The End Of Microsoft Money: Big Company Doesn't Always Win
from the welcome-to-competition dept
There’s a disturbing trend in various discussions we have here (especially on patent discussions) where people seem to insist that big companies automatically win in competitive environments. Yet, especially in the tech space, we’ve seen that it’s often quite difficult for big companies to do that. Smaller companies are often more innovative and effective at taking on big companies. The idea that some big company can just copy someone else’s product and automatically take over the market is clearly wrong. Does it happen sometimes? Sure. But as has been noted by many folks, if your product is truly innovative, you’ll often have to beg people for attention, rather than worrying about anyone copying it.
A great example of this is the failure of Microsoft Money. The company has now announced that it’s going to discontinue the product despite years of effort and millions of dollars spent to try to defeat Intuit’s Quicken product. In fact, the saga of the battle between Intuit and Microsoft highlights (yet again) that it wasn’t so much the invention part that allowed Intuit to win the battle, but the innovative way in which Intuit kept and grew marketshare. In an interview with News.com, the guy who ran Microsoft Money for a few years, noted that Intuit beat Money because they did a better job with the marketing.
Meanwhile, of course, it’s worth noting that Intuit itself is now facing upstart challenges from web-focused startups like Mint and Wesabe, and some believe the company is discovering in its own way how smaller, more nimble startups can succeed against larger entrenched interests. Innovation is an interesting beast. The idea that big companies can always defeat smaller ones has been disproved many times — but here’s yet another example.