Picking a fight
Is it better to compete in an industry dominated by a single corporation, or a market full of inconsequential competitors? What if that single competitor is so well established that they’re a now a verb? Maybe have an entire market named after themselves?
IBM, a name once synonymous with personal computers no longer has a PC division. In 2005 they sold it to a Chinese corporation. When I xerox a document, I usually use a copier made by Ricoh or Brother. I do use Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages, but only because they continue to innovate — Side note: if you haven’t tried Band-Aid Advanced Healing, they will change your life. So does any search stand a chance against Google at this point? After all, you never “Live Search” or “Yahoo!” anything…
I guess my point is that at some point someone had the audacity to challenge the companies who defined the market. It takes guts to pick a fight with the biggest kid on the playground. But if you never fight the fight, you’re guaranteed to lose.
Good luck, Cuil, you’re going to need it.