Stop Looking For Corporate Killers. It’s Not About Killing. It’s About Innovating.
Is Ello A Facebook Killer? Will Duck Duck Go kill Google? Will Facebook’s new search kill Google???? What ever happened to Jelly?
I was saving this post for a time when the “next big thing” pops onto our smartphones and people start declaring death to all other platforms. I am not hearing that with Meerkat and Periscope (that is something else entirely). But I figured, they have hype now, so what the hell!
I don’t know about you, but these questions are really annoying me and every time something new happens, this is what everyone starts talking about. Every time a new network comes out, everyone goes insane speculating that it will be the demise of the networks that we are most active on. But here is a little fact, companies don’t go out of business because someone built something better. They go out of business because they weren’t prepared to innovate and change.
— Aaron Friedman (@AaronFriedman) December 9, 2014
(Full conversation here)
Frankly, I think this question about companies “killing” each other is short sighted and I loath it. I rant and rave when this discussion starts because I don’t believe anything will kill these companies.
Stop asking if this company is a Google or Facebook killer. Start asking which one of them will buy it first.
The History of Companies Killing Themselves
Innovation is the key to business survival.
Think for a moment of some of the popular examples where companies just missed the boat completely or were a little late to the game. The first thing that comes to mind for me is blockbuster as a leader in video rental, Blackberry as a pioneer in smart phone technology, Kodak as a leader in the photography space.
What about Myspace as a social network, AOL as search engine, Friendster, app after app after app.
And what is the common denominator?
Probably a lack of innovation. These are all examples of companies that just did not innovate. They were in the position to though. They could have been the leaders. But they didn’t, for whatever reason.
Innovation means to Pivot
I want to be clear about something. Innovating doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to do the same thing forever. Innovation means sensing the change in the industry and moving with it. Or better yet, staying ahead of it.
It’s printer companies not realizing that 3D printing could be real.
This is why Facebook and Google aren’t going anywhere. I am not a Google apologist or Facebook fan boy by any means. Especially not Facebook because I don’t entirely trust them (that is also a separate conversation). But you have to give them credit for thinking about auxiliary services to support their core product such as better internet using balloons and planes. (for more on this, read AJ Kohn’s post about Google’s Evil Plan)
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Eternal Companies
Simply take a look at these companies. They are enormous! Companies with foresight like this don’t vanish. The ones that vanish are the ones that don’t sense the changes. Google and Facebook both have massive Mergers and Acquisitions teams. And they have to hit quotas every year.
Facebook made 8 acquisitions this year and Google made 34! There is a deep realization that they won’t have all the answers, but when someone does, they want to ensure that that becomes part of their company. Standing on guard for companies with talent and making them part of your network is equally as important as coming up with the next big idea.
I don’t think, in our lifetime at least, that we will see anyone “killing” Google of Facebook. Other strong networks could pop up, but with advancements in technology, and the forward thinking of these corporations, I think there is enough forward thinking to be a strong player for generations to come.
I am sure others will have differing arguments. I would love to hear what other people have to say about this.