Tag: competition


Open Source: Constructive or Harmful to Competition?

When we look at the success of businesses and projects – both from the standpoint of those with interest in a business and the consumers that buy and use their products – competition is one of the most important components in any market.  Working in retail, competition is what forces me to offer my prospective customers fair prices because I know that if I don’t I’ll lose business to my competitor down the street.  But competition between businesses in the same industry doesn’t stop there.  Competition is what allowed the small business I work for to get off the ground instead of fall victim to monopolies within the industry.  And perhaps most importantly competition is what drives innovation, forcing engineers and product developers to not only produce more feature-rich goods, but products that are priced reasonably for consumers as well.

Even as much as I like competition, though, I realize that there are always going to be situations where working together produces better end results for everyone involved because if people are willing to work together instead of against one another the combined resources and efforts can go so much further.  It’s for this reason that I have always liked the concept of open source software.  After all, when people with different skill sets and experiences make their work available for others to use and improve upon their work becomes exponentially more valuable.  Not only do others get to make use of the work of others, but through sub-projects, branches, and development groups what would have otherwise been nothing can become something invaluable to millions of users.

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Could a Microsoft/Baidu Partnership Compete with Google?

Serving China, a country with four-hundred and fifty million users online, Baidu is, as it stands, a popular search engine primarily focused on the Chinese market. The search engine in itself has been around for quite some time now, but with Google’s move to pull out of China in March of last year the search engine has become what many see as the go-to search engine in China.

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Foursquare’s 11 Hour Downtime Is Unacceptable

I’m going to come straight out and say it.  Foursquare’s 11-hour downtime fiasco in completely unacceptable.  And you know what?  It seems Foursquare agrees.  According to their blog post which explains the downtime, they state, “All told, we were down for about 11 hours, which is unacceptably long.”

Foursquare is currently in a very hot market – location based services.  They cannot afford to be down for 11 hours, it’s too costly, especially when the market their in is so volatile.  If they continue to have downtime and scaling issues, they will fall behind.  It’s that simple.  Especially now that they are competing against Facebook Places.

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We Need To Kill Mobile Phone Contracts

Products becoming outdated is by no stretch of the imagination a new concept. Look at raw materials, clothing, appliances, or essentially any material product and you will see that as time progresses, what was once considered to be the standard or the norm eventually falls behind and is no longer seen as “current”. Marketing is based greatly on convincing people that the products that they own are no longer up to par with the newer products available. While this is evident in pretty much any industry, the turnover rate (the rate at which products become seen as “outdated”) is significantly higher in consumer electronics products and services and services focused towards individuals. However, even when people are willing to part with their “outdated” product and upgrade to the newest and best, they are usually tied up on one thing. Contracts.

Look at the Motorola RAZR mobile phone. In 2005 and into 2006, the RAZR was one of the most highly sought-after phones. People were going gaga left and right, trying to get their hands on the thin and powerful phone. However, as 2007 approached, the novelty behind the Motorola RAZR had died down drastically. People were no longer as interested in the product, and the people who were were able to purchase the phone for a much more reasonable price. More importantly, some of the people who had purchased the RAZR less than a year and a half-before were already looking to ditch the phone that they had jumped through hoops to get, and were looking to upgrade to a newer, better, more feature-rich phone.

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