Been thinking about lots of stuff this week as I took off three days. First time off in about 5 years. Need to do that more. One of the things that popped up was what to trust in media now that traditional media has shrunk to the point of irrelevance on tech industries. This is what I came up with:
Don't trust anyone with more than 30 percent market share.
Yeah, it's a riff off of the hippie adage, "don't trust anyone over 30." But I think it fits.
When the economy is strong, having stable market leaders is a good thing. Markets grow. The leaders follow basic competition concepts. Everyone is happy. But when things turn bad, leaders hunker down and do whatever they can to kill innovative competition so they can avoid losing market share. And when those leaders are doing their own thing media-wise (social media, private conferences, etc.) they do everything they can to control market conversation.
I've been watching this trend for some time. The market leaders are starting to take to social media and are gathering a big lead over tech startups and smaller players who are still holding back. They are laying down riffs about how the world is and, surprise, they know the way. Just buy their stuff. There is no discussion, no objection to the market leaders' positions.
But guess what? the market doesn't want to buy their story. The customers know things suck. They just need someone to lay dow some truth. When times are bad, people want revolutionaries, not the status quo. The emperor is buck nekkid.
You may say that a startup has the same motivation to spin truth as the market leader, but that's not really true. The interloper has everything to lose and nothing to gain by lying to the market. the market leader has everything to gain and nothing to lose by hogging the conversation. The market is ready for you. Are you up for the challenge? Or are you going to let the market leader set the tone?