Chapter 28 Incumbents Can Fight Back

Do not expect incumbents to lose every time they face competition from an innovative start-up. Incumbent businesses are not all fat, drunk, and stupid. They can be powerful and viscous when they fight back and often have unique resources at their disposal.

As time marches forward incumbents can see where mistakes have been made by other companies that have come under attack from technology-driven competition. There is more of a playbook now and they can use their position of strength. They are also unlikely to be as surprised to see competition as they might have been ten years ago.

Some companies may choose to retrench. That may mean changing what they do. Consider IBM, which was an exceptionally early tech ...

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