Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Perils of 65% market share

We tend to see market leaders in two dimensions. We see how much ahead they are, and we see how high they have climbed. Its hard to see the third dimension behind this facade. What is that little object in their mirror?

Today I am trying to find that little object. Right now its in the rearview mirror of my favorite search engine.

According to BBC news, the market-leader-du-jour: Google has consolidated its position and now enjoys a safe 65% market share.

The number 65 has magical powers. It repeats.

Back in the early nineties when Novell was king, they enjoyed 65% market share. Back then, their hold on it seemed infinite. I remember driving to Provo Utah to meet some engineers at Novell. It was like a pilgrimage of the NLM developers.

And while they were at the top of their game, Microsoft --at the time a puny DOS company-- launched a thumb pin into the heart of Novell's business. And kept pressing. The rest is history.

Anyway, now that google has hit the magic number, I wonder whose next. It can be Microsoft. Cannot be Yahoo. Cannot be Facebook. Cannot be Ask. What if its a non search company?

More on it later...may be not.

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