Chapter 6. Competitive Myopia: A Nearsighted View of Competition

You suffer from “competitive myopia” when you make the mistake of defining your competition too narrowly, when you acknowledge only the competitors that are in your face, whose challenge is direct and immediate. You lack the peripheral vision that would discern less obvious challengers—those whose threat is, for whatever reason, not on today’s radar screen but is nonetheless very real and dangerous.

It’s surprisingly easy to think of examples of iconic global companies that have fallen into this self-destructive habit: Coke worries about Pepsi; Caterpillar watches Kamatsu. Boeing frets about Airbus, while Bombardier and Embraco plan their flanking maneuvers. Most famously, while ...

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