Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thawing the Competitor's Plan (The Silicon Valley Style)

Following is an interesting storyline from our non-published book on Assessing Strategically. (This book was focused on the strategic and tactical fundamentals that usually lead to the subjugation of the competition.)

The Japanese Temple Dogs
The following situation reminds me of the "Japanese Temple Dogs" theory. 

(Following is a paraphrase from an old Japanese story)

During the days of ancient Japan, the Shogun's adviser was worried about the laxity of  his sentry guards and the possibility of an invasion from the various rivals. One day, he heard of a samurai priest who exclusively trained sentry dogs to guard various palaces and immediately decided to hire him for the purpose of guarding the exterior of the palace.  

The next day, the adviser met the samurai priest at the front gates of the palace. He curiously noticed that the Samurai priest brought along five dogs instead of the usual four and asked him the following question, "... Since there are four sides to the palace, why do you need five dogs!?  ..."

The samurai replied, "My team of temple dogs is quite unique.  The first four dogs are trained to guard each side of the palace.  During the shift, they also worked quite well as a team regardless of the rotation of their assignments. The fifth dog is also trained to work with them as a backup.  However, this dog is specifically trained to alert and to protect the shogun within the confines of the palace. ...  History has told us many times that most houses (or palaces)  of power usually collapsed from within.  ..."   

The adviser quietly nodded his head in agreement and welcomed him into the palace.

Instead of playing the amateur's game of competing by price and quality, the smart and experienced strategists are usually focused on understanding the connectivity between their competitors and the terrain .
The following example is a good example of how Google is thawing their mobile phone competitor's plan by utilizing a technological version of asymmetrical warfare that de-accelerates their competition's strategic efficiency from within.  ... Fwiw, this approach is quietly implemented through the various macro marketplaces in the information economy.  You just have to pay attention to the ultra level specifics.

. . . There are also interesting rumors on how another Silicon Valley's company was destabilized from within.  But that is another story.

Google Is Attacking Apple From The Inside Out—And It's Working

After years of hammering away at Apple's share of the smartphone market with cheap-to-free Android phones, Google has lately adopted a new tactic to win mobile.

Call it "the worm strategy"—because Google is attacking Apple from the inside out.
Over the past six months, Google has begun to systematically replace core, Apple-made iOS apps with Google-made iOS apps.
  • In July, Google launched Chrome for iPhone—a Safari replacement.
  • Then, in October came Google Search—which included a voice search feature to compete with Siri.
  • In December, Google launched Google Maps to replace Apple Maps, and a much-improved Gmail to replace Apple's core Mail app. 
  • It also put out a new YouTube app, to replace the one that Apple removed during its last iOS upgrade.
Google doesn't plan to stop there. 

In fact, it's throwing more resources at iOS development. 
9to5Mac's Jake Smith notes that Google has launched an ad campaign recruiting iOS developers into the company, so that they can “do cool things that matter."

The ad links to a page on Google's internal jobs site—an interview with Google iOS developer Ken Bongort, headlined: "Wait, Google has iOS mobile apps teams?"
In the interview, Bongort talks about all the apps Google has launched on iOS of late, and then concludes: 

"Needless to say, there are similar opportunities to create and design new experiences for all Google apps on the iOS platform."

Google's tactic is working.

The anecdotal evidence: Business Insider gadget editor Steve Kovach says he's put almost all of his Apple-made iOS apps into a hidden folder, preferring to use apps from Google and others instead. Over on AllThingsD, Liz Gannes says 2012 was the year "I basically stopped using iOS apps." 
She says Google apps are one big reason why:
More often than not lately, I find myself using a Google iOS app. I’m now using Google Maps instead of Apple Maps, Chrome instead of Safari, and Gmail instead of Mail. Those three have all made it to my home screen, where they replaced the in-house apps.
For the record, I wouldn’t consider myself a partisan of either Google or Apple — I’m praising Google’s mobile software here, but my primary phone is still an iPhone. I think iOS is a very nice operating system. But the Google utility apps increasingly fit my needs better, for some of the most important and basic things a smartphone does.
Then there's the statistical evidence that Google's inside-out tactic is working.
AppData, which monitors iTunes App Store rankings, reports that the numbers one and two free iPhone apps right now are YouTube and Google Maps.

None of this makes Apple executives very happy.

The world's universally positive reaction to Google Maps—and rush to replace Apple Maps—reportedly has Apple executives "seething." No surprise:  Apple CEO Tim Cookfired iOS software boss Scott Forstall when Forstall refused to apologize for the product's deficiencies.

Meanwhile, this trend has to have Google executives elated.

When Apple launched the iPhone App Store in 2008, it threatened to permanently disrupt Google's most important business: search. 

If the world became one where:
  • Businesses directed all their resources toward building apps to be discovered in the iTunes app store instead of building Web pages to be discovered by Google search.
  • And consumers went straight to non-Google apps for search problems like where they should and what they should buy.
  • Then Google search ads—still more than 95 percent of Google's revenues—would become much less valuable. 
Instead, the world has become one where people there are two kinds of people.
There are Android users, surrounded by Google search, and there are iPhone users, downloading Google apps—all of which make Google search a prominent feature.

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