One of the most interesting things about technology strategy is that the lines of competition between different businesses is always blurry. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself this, would anyone 10 years ago have predicted that:
- Google and Apple would be competitors (Android and iPhone)
- Social networks (a category that didn’t even really exist 10 years ago) would become mini-operating systems that support applications (Facebook applications)
- Cisco would sell video cameras (the Flip) and servers
- NVIDIA’s big growth bets lay in mobile phones and supercomputers
- Yahoo would bet big on digital TV applications
I’m betting not too many people saw these coming. Well, a short while ago, the New York Times Tech Blog decided to chart some of this out, highlighting how the boundaries between some of the big tech giants out there (Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Yahoo) are blurring:
Its an oversimplification of the complexity and the economics of each of these business moves, but its still a very useful depiction of how tech companies wage war: they keep their enemies so close that they eventually imitate their business models.