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