If at first you don’t succeed: disrupting incumbents in the enterprise

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Learning by Shipping

rocky-movie-on-stepsI was talking with a founder/CEO of an enterprise startup about what it is like to disrupt a sizable incumbent. In the case we were talking about the disrupting technology was losing traction and the incumbent was regaining control of the situation, back off their heels, and generally felt like they had fended off the “attack” on a core business. This causes a lot of consternation at the disrupting startup as deals aren’t won, reviews and analyst reports swing the wrong way, and folks start to question the direction. If there really is a product/market fit, then hold on and persevere because almost always the disruption is still going to happen. Let’s look at why.

Incumbent Reacting

The most important thing to realize about a large successful company reacting to a disruptive market entry is that every element of the company just wants to return to “normal” as quickly as…

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