Why You Shouldn’t Fear Having A Strong Competitor

One of the most brilliant technologists, if not the most brilliant technologist, ever in the analog semiconductor industry is Bob Dobkin. Dobkin, known as “Dobby,” was the co-founder of Linear Technology, one of the most successful startups ever in the analog semiconductor business.

Image for post
Image for post
Picture: Depositphotos

You should always respect your competitors.

I knew that we would have to be at our best to beat Dobby. Not only would we have to be smart, we would have to move fast, and our execution would have to be flawless.

  • This team is working on the exact same thing as you, and…
  • This team is smarter and better than your team, and…
  • This team is highly motivated, so…
  • You have to move fast.

On the other hand, you should be happy that there’s competition because competition is good!

“I found a company that’s doing something like what we want to do,” an entrepreneur I’m working with said to me just the other day. He sounded demoralized.

Remember, competition is a great validator that you’re on to something.

What are the odds if you’re working on something big that your company is the only one working on a similar idea? It’s pretty low.

Sometimes, your competitors are going to force you into high gear.

A few years into my fight with Linear, Dobby struck a master blow. Linear announced a product innovation (10,000 volt ESD protection) that completely took us by surprise. We didn’t think it was possible, but we recognized the threat immediately to our business.

And you’d better know who your competition is if you’re raising money.

Finally, saying you have don’t have competition is the kiss of death if you’re raising money. Instead, you should know your competition inside and out.

I work with startup CEOs to help them grow their businesses . I built several businesses from $0 to >$100M. Learn more at www.brettjfox.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store