Entrepreneurs with early-stage startups tend to press the panic button when big tech companies are about to enter their field. They start going mad, their motivation goes South and they truly believe the fight is over.
What these entrepreneurs don’t realize they have become their biggest competitors. Usually, the amount of startups that have died because a big company entered their field is not substancial at all. Usually, what kills startups is the loss of motivation and willingness to go on is what ends up killing their startup.
Just think about big tech companies from 10 years ago that have disappeared. People used their services for a reason and a purpose. When they decided to drastically change or expand, hurting the core experience, people decided to go somewhere else.
Remember, big competitors have more to lose than you. There’s a logical reason why the risk they’re taking is way higher than yours. A lot of them could lose their core in the process expanding the company, hurting the stock price, investors, and pissing the board off.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg flew out to LA to meet Snapchat in late 2012 to know more about their vision. According to the press, he told them about Facebook’s upcoming Poke app referring to it as a Snapchat killer. It doesn’t sound good when a big competitor is about to enter your field and eat you without any mercy.
Perhaps at the time he wanted to pressure them into selling or maybe it’s just the press trying to make Snapchat into another Hollywood story (alongside with Facebook and Twitter), but it clearly didn’t work. Snapchat did amazing for themselves and the app made by their big competitor failed massively.
Of course, I really can’t tell this story in depth since I don’t personally know Mark Zuckerberg yet. I consider him one of the best entrepreneurs of our generation and he seems like a remarkable human being. What’s important here is the lesson behind: Snapchat grew to become one of the big guys.
What about Meerkat vs. Periscope?
Of course, recently we have the example of Meerkat vs. Periscope. Even though it might seems that Periscope is winning, it’s a long way to go. I believe Meerkat will end up being the winner, if the execute correctly. Even though Twitter has been “bullying” celebrities into using Periscope instead of Meerkat, fans feel frustrated because of the comment limit on Periscope.
Another problem Periscope is not addressing is sexual harassment on women. I wasn’t aware of this since I’m a guy, but when I saw my female friends Periscoping, I was shocked by the amount of obscene comments made by perverts. Since you can opt-out of posting your Periscope comments on Twitter, it’s a free zone for sick people without any consequences.