History Repeats Itself!
Do you remember MySpace?
In the early 2000's the first type of social media emerged. No one had seen anything like it. It was growing faster than any company ever had. It was gaining in popularity. The press was saying "It's unstoppable!" and "You'd have to be a fool to even try to compete with this one!"
And where is it today? Tucked away deep into the farthest reaches of the internet.
With the exception of Facebook, everyone failed to realize that MySpace's growth was just due to a new tool: the internet. And the reason it was the fastest growing company ever, at the time, is because it was being compared to brick & mortar stores. Facebook saw past the metrics. They accounted for the new tool, and observed a terribly run company with a model that didn't address many major needs of the public. They realized that the overnight sensation resulted from a new platform, not from a company doing everything right. And from there, the strategy was simple; use the same tools as MySpace, but do it right!
Today history repeats itself. Uber, Lyft...these are the MySpaces of on-demand ride hailing. They're the first. They are the ones we learn from. At first the public was excited to be freed from the issues with taxis. Now that they've settled in to the rideshare revolution, the shortcomings of that system are becoming apparent... Painfully!
Like the Social Media revolution, everyone today is failing to realize that their growth is a result of new tools; not a result of a company doing everything right. Their size and past success is not an indication that they can never fail. And their dominance is no reason to say, "You'd have to be a fool to even try to compete..." Rather, its an opportunity to do what every good business does. Listen to their users, learn what is missing, and build a system that doesn't miss the mark!
Lots of companies have gone up against Uber and Lyft - the industry leaders - and have failed. Were they fools for trying to compete? Not at all! They were fools for trying to compete while duplicating all of the same errors. And that's an important distinction.
Facebook won because they saw exactly what was broken. And that's why we'll win too.