As usual Fred Wilson hits the nail on the head with Competition – The Pros and Cons.
Yes – we are pained sometimes by the existence of competition and we wish they would just go away and let us win already… but the truth is, as Richard Alden, TOA’s EU President (and former CEO of ONO) says – “You need a villain! You always need a villain”.
Richard says that when he as CEO of ONO bought Auna, the other Spanish cable company, removing his most potent and relevant competitor from the marketplace – something was lost.
Because competition gets our juices flowing, because competition spark so much creative energy in us, it makes us think and motivates us to excel and frustrates us – it makes us reach into the primal depths of our nature – those animalistic survivalist mechanisms that are the warrior in us and helps us fight the excellent fight.
I can’t say that I LOVE the competition – but I can say that I am glad that they are out there – they keep us on our toes, keep us from getting complacent, rally around our brand – and many times they make us look real good.
Many times they help us see our weaknesses better and focus on where we need to get stronger. Like any dialectic, they are that necessary doppelganger that highlights the differences between what is good and not good. And when we see them emulating us and even effacing us – they are another important data point to validation that what we are doing is right!