Competing together, not against each other

In many instances people think they should sink the other ships to win the race but that -as it turns out- this is not true. They think in this way because they are thinking about a zero-sum game. However, that is not always the case, there are many environments where you can benefit more from collaboration than competition.

There is the case when the technologies are mature enough that standardisation works for the competitors. Competitors will work together to create a technical standard (e.g. ISO). If the main players accept that that will mean that everyone accepted that to be the way to go, and they should focus the resources on other areas. Areas where the reward may be much bigger if they get it right.

Companies can also collaborate to increase the market for which they are competing. It may make more sense to work together to attract more customers than to fight for a small piece of the existing pie.

Companies may agree on certain aspects to prevent new players entering the market. That may be the taxi industry. Few companies are the ones who manage the taxis preventing anyone from offering the service.

Working together for a bigger goal. That may be that both companies have a common aim and agree to put differences aside so they are able to work together and achieve a greater glory than they could alone. In this case may be the Allies during the WWII, or now-a-days companies or governments to achieve the AI supremacy.

Sharing ideas and information may enhance the speed at which innovation happen. Different competitors could scratch each other’s back and play their strengths. Doing that may help the industry itself. It may also help to reduce the risks, so instead of investing large amounts of money in one project one could invest smaller amounts in more projects and still obtain results from all of them.

So not everything about competition is competing. You can collaborate and still profit equally if not more from the partnership.

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