When You Are Asked If the Giants Will Put You Out of Business

If you doing something new and novel especially, you’ll constantly get a question for a long title.  Why won’t the giants just take you down?  Won’t Salesforce, or Google, or Whomever, enter your space with their huge installed base and brand and crush you?

I remember back in the day Salesforce dismissed Zendesk as a simple app anyone could build.  Well.

So a few answers to that question if it helps 😉

  1. They haven’t yet. Which isn’t to say they won’t, just that it’s not on their Top 3 / Top 10 list yet. Most things aren’t.
  2. Since they haven’t yet, it will be years before they do, at least for real. We will be so far ahead in terms of domain expertise and intricate knowledge of customer needs.
  3. Even if they do, they won’t sustain it as a core effort for 5–10 years. We will.
  4. Even if they do, their product will be tied to a single vendor — themselves. We are vendor agnostic.
  5. Even if they do, their product will probably just be focused on SMBs/big enterprises. (Whatever segment they are best in).
  6. Even if they do, we’ll partner with them. We can be the more robust alternative to their likely elegant but initially simple offering.
  7. Honestly, this isn’t 2002. When did this last happen to anyone great in SaaS? Who did Salesforce kill? This is 2018. In B2B SaaS at least, the customer gets to pick, not the incumbent that controls the OS or the browser.  OK, this answer is a bit too flippant to give to a VC or the press, but it’s still true,

Sometimes, the Big Guys can kill you.  But if you have years of experience in the space and a great team, most likely, best case all they can do is maim you.  For a bit.  And if that does happen, and you can pick yourself up off the mat, it probably won’t even matter in the long run.

A little more here: When Big Companies Can Kill You. And When They Can’t. | SaaStr

View original question on quora

Published on September 21, 2018

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