In the past few years, tech companies have been competing with each other for market share in all sorts of new areas. For example, Amazon is not only an online shopping site but also a hardware company  , Google is [also] a hardware company launching multiple home gadgets like the Nest thermostat and Google Home smart speaker  , Facebook has launched its own AI-driven digital assistant for Messenger called M , Apple released the iPhone 7 Plus with dual cameras giving it 2X optical zoom and so on. So far none of these tech companies are researching space travel or sending robots to harvest crops on Mars (yet) but that does not mean technology has no role in making people’s lives better.
How can your organization survive without competing with the big tech companies in their own game? Here are ten ways to do it:
1) You cannot compete with Google or Amazon by becoming an online shopping site. However you may be able to use them as a reference and become the “next best thing”. When building your product/service, think about what customers value most. What makes them buy from you instead of your competitors? Then try to be better than that. If they want low prices, offer something else like fast shipping, free return policy or excellent customer service. If they value brand recognition, don’t bother trying to compete but find another way to stand out!
2) Open source software saves money because someone else develops and maintains the code. However open source projects also tend to suffer from a lack of funds and manpower; we previously wrote about how to survive as an open source project .
3) Today nearly everything is automated and digitized: finding customers, gathering information, performing transactions and much more. This means that even though your company is not a tech company , you can take advantage of technology by outsourcing some tasks to companies that specialize in doing them. Read more here about why it makes sense to outsource certain business functions .
4) Big data has given us amazing insights into customer behavior but for many organizations, using big data requires hiring specialized talents who are pretty expensive. So start small, just use online tools or free software for analyzing large amounts of data and go from there. If you need help, there are many free courses available online .
5) AI is one of the most desired tech skills today but not everyone will be able to hire a data scientist. However it is possible to train your existing employees in machine learning and other AI-related disciplines: find out how here .
6) Robotics has gone mainstream with robots performing surgeries , driving cars and picking strawberries . Unless you’re starting a robotics company or an automation business, this technology probably won’t drive immediate sales for your products/services. On the other hand some companies may want to buy robots as part of their production processes so don’t ignore opportunities that take advantage of advancements in this field!
7) VR/AR and latest gadgets and gizmos like the Apple watch and Google glass usually make headlines but we believe that things like robots, AI and drones will have a much bigger impact on our lives in the near future. So if you cannot compete with tech companies directly, think about how technology can help your core product/service .
8) One of the best ways to stay ahead of your competitors is by becoming an industry thought leader: share your insights with fellow business owners/entrepreneurs , write guest posts for popular blogs or give public talks at conferences.
9) People do not buy products and services; they buy stories ! Sales and marketing strategies change and evolve as human psychology does so know what motivates people’s behavior. To learn more about understanding psychology , read “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman .
10) Finally, the best way to beat big tech companies at their own game is to make your product/service unique! Be creative, think outside-the-box and create value for your customers. If you accomplish that, then the sky is the limit for what you can achieve.