I had a great four hour meeting yesterday with my colleague Marju to get ready for the business strategy programme we will do on Thursday. The main theme I will work with in the programme is how companies should re-think their strategies as markets contract (like now). A key aspect of the contracting market problem is that the contraction intensifies the fight for market leadership.
For those interested in this problem, check out this Gigaom post about firms copying the IPod and IPhone. Great post! The copying strategy can work sometimes (letting someone else pay to develop new product ideas). The problem with it is that it concedes market leadership — and that is dangerous when markets are not expanding. I think Gary Hammel got this right in his post on the failure of the US auto industry to keep up with market trends ….. over fifty years.
FOLLOW - The old news is that recessions force consumers to look closely at costs. The big question is how this will affect markets. Here is an interesting quote from NYT about tech markets
“The day of the Rolls-Royce laptop and the high-end computer may not be totally over,” said Charles King, an independent technology industry analyst in Hayward. Calif. “But certainly the audience for that type of product is getting smaller and smaller.”
Enter stage left — an exploding market for the $200 laptop.