Competition is a Good Thing

I read a quote from John Lasseter in the AirTran Airline Magazine a few weeks ago. I have referred back to and used his quote several times since. He was referring to the competition in his business.

His business is BIG – He is the Chief Creative Officer of Disney Pixar and he brought some of the most memorable characters to life in the movies Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, WALL-E and Monsters, Inc (11 feature length animated films).

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Pixar's John Lasseter on Competition


Source: AirTran Go Magazine – June 2010 

His quote got me thinking again and again. I have worked with and for several companies that have been told they are too old to compete or that they are too late to the game. I do think there is an end stage to every business, but I don’t think any company I have ever worked for was even close to the end.

I have worked in the KM / ECM world for the past 20 years. There has been a lot of consolidation – which will continue – but the industry is still alive and if anything the rise of Social Media and Cloud Computing will make the Management of Enterprise Content even more critical to the success and longevity of the business. I think it will give rise to what I’m calling Social ECM.

Competition is Good

imageShould business be a zero sum game?

I think the answer is NO. There might be a few industries where a Zero Sum Game strategy is best for all parties involved. However, I think that is the exception. It seems John Lasseter agrees.

  • Competition is Good
  • Competition drives Innovation
  • Competition keeps Prices in check (for the most part)

imageMy take on John Lasseter’s quote is this:

It’s better to be a fish in a thriving pond than a (soon) to be former fish in a d(r)ying pond.

What do you think?

  • Is is better to be the only fish in the pond?
  • Are there any industries that are better off with no competition?
  • Have you seen successful Zero Sum Games?

I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Image credits: Pixar, Disney

clip_image002About The Author:
I have spent the better part of the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with Kodak as a Director of Business Development. In my past I have spent time at
Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.