The Industrial Age popularized the concept of competition, and in the time since, we have also been taught the tenets of collaboration. Like most other lines, Digital Age Disruption is also blurring the lines between these two concepts, giving way to ‘Co-opetition’. The Digital Age sees the concept of ‘Co-opetition’ being prevalent because the focus is on unlocking greater value. Co-opetition, a concept adopted from Game Theory, allows for teams or even organizations to bring together their best resources to increase the benefit for all the players involved.
Co-opetition works on the mantra of ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, work with ‘em’, as evident from the Amazon Model – The Amazon Marketplace. This groundbreaking feature allowed competitors of any size to use Amazon’s online platform and technological capabilities to present their millions of new, used, and rare books to millions of customers, right next to similar products sold by Amazon itself. This allowed customers to choose between a large variety of offerings by inviting competitors to be part of this customer experience.
- Ford and Toyota teamed up in 2013 to design the Atlas Ford F-150 Hybrid Concept
- Mortal enemies Apple and Microsoft teamed up to license mobile operating system features and patents
- Google and Mozilla started working together when Google-funded Mozilla’s free, open-source Firefox web browser (a rival to the Google Chrome) to limit the influence of rival browsers Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari
- Refrigerants Naturally is a non-profit that was established by fierce competitors Coca-Cola, Pepsi Co, Red Bull, Unilever, and others to develop sustainable refrigeration technologies to combat climate change and ozone depletion, by replacing fluorinated gasses with natural refrigerants
- The United Postal Services has teamed up with direct competitors Fed-Ex and UPS to lower operational costs and raise revenue for all three.
These are but a few examples of how Coopetition is becoming more mainstream in the way that business models are transforming to meet the challenges of the Digital Age, opening up new avenues to play a larger game than organizations once played within the confines of their industry boundaries.
Published by: Nikita Madhu in Blog