The Way of the "Do Do"

For those unaware, the do-do was a large, flightless bird living on the island of Mauritius. Within a few hundred years of European traders arriving on its island it was extinct.

The analogy to technology Market Leaders is probably a good one:
– Market leaders often feel invincible (the do-do lived on an island and had no known predators);
– Market leaders become complacent (the do-do was flightless, complacent in an evolutionary sense);
– Market leaders rarely see the threat until it is too late (the do-do was wiped out by man, it couldn't have predicted the navigation and shipbuilding innovation needed to make this happen)
– Market leaders can disappear quickly particularly in a technology context where companies operate in “internet time” (the do-do evolved for many thousands of years but disappeared in less than two centuries from the first Dutch trader arriving in Mauritius).

To illustrate the analogy to Technology, Facebook may seem to have an unassailable position in terms of its Social Platform but remember MySpace had a similar lead over Facebook just a few years ago. The Encyclopedia Brittanica probably never saw the CD Rom as a threat and yet Encarta had a devastating effect on its sales. I'll bet Encarta never envisaged a free web encyclopedia like Wikipedia doing the same to it. The Music industry saw little threat in MP3s as they continued to make huge profits on their CDs. Could they imagine the powerful position that Apple would now hold in music distribution through iTunes? The list goes on.

So who are the next winners and losers? Where are the next do-dos to be found? This is a question we will be asking in a future post.

As always we look forward to your comments

Alan, Jim and Vincent


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  1. Dr Jim Hamill
    July 17, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks Alan.

    Guess the most topical ‘do do’ question is what impact will Google+ have in Facebook.

    Jim H

  2. colin kelly
    July 17, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Banks, and political parties. Social media will allow individual communities to elect their own “champions” from several candidates.

    • Dr Jim Hamill
      July 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      That would be nice Colin.

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