Cry of the Incumbent

You know you are about to be disrupted when you hear yourself saying..

“They’re bottom feeders” – probably, so?
“They’re too small to matter” – everyone starts small, size isn’t the issue.
“It’s an unsustainable model” – is it? Do they know something you don’t?
“It’s low margin/low value business” – Maybe, but is it profitable business?
“We have the quality product” – Claims of quality is a slippery slope (C.Shirky)
“No one will want it” – They disagree, check again.
“It’s useless, obviously!” – But will it sell?
“They’re just kids.” – Hmm..
“They wouldn’t dare.” – Yes they would.
“They are racing to the bottom.” – So? How are you going to respond?
“They don’t have our reputation” – and they don’t have your baggage.
“We’ve already tried that and it didn’t work (years ago)” – They think it will, what has changed?
“It’s too niche.” – No.. it’s a gap in YOUR market.

If you or a loved one defends their product and/or service and dismisses a new entrant with one or more of  these statements I’d recommend talking to your customers and see if they agree with you.

What are your favourite dismissal statements from the incumbent?

2 thoughts on “Cry of the Incumbent

  1. Tim Kastelle

    Terrific post George!

    Another that I've heard (which is similar to a couple of yours) is:

    “All their customers are unprofitable”, but, only unprofitable to the big incumbent with huge overheads…

  2. Martijn Linssen

    Perfect one-liners: they're also used by enterprises to dinosaur-spasm towards Anything 2.0

    “Exciting, entrepreneurial but limited in scope” is one I've heard – which says everything about your scope…

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