I’ve had some version of this post in the back of my mind, and more recently, at the top of my drafts queue for ages, but a convergence of events has now pushed it to your screen – or inbox. You see, this is a post about competition, and within the past day I noticed that:
A – Chris Anderson, of Long Tail fame, has a feature article in this month’s Wired on the new Do-It-Yourself industrial revolution, basically what he is dubbing the industrial long tail. Anderson highlights some of the truly amazing ways in which very small businesses can now prototype and create physical products that in the past would have required years of effort and millions of dollars. It’s now possible for individuals and small companies to compete like never before.
B – Seth Godin recently pointed out that competition is everywhere, regardless of what we think of it or whether we are even aware of it. The point really can’t be made often enough. I continually find when I do market assessments for my association customers that there are all sorts of competitive offerings cropping up of which the association was not aware. Many organizations resist the idea of even doing competitive assessments because they assume that they must be the only significant source of education in their niche.
Finally, with the Super Bowl approaching, it seems even more appropriate to trot out the title I had always wanted to use for this post, since it is based on the classic football movie, Any Given Sunday.
Instead of Sunday, I am thinking of Monday, when would be competitors come back into the office – whether that’s a traditional office, a spare bedroom, or a garage – feeling refreshed from the weekend. The ideas are flowing, the tools are available, and they have their eyes on your market. By Friday, they are well into the process of launching a new product or service aimed directly at your customers. In fact, maybe they have already launched it.
It can happen. It is happening. What are you doing about it?