Competition and Collaboration – does new media bring a new model?

A few years ago, the company I worked for was launching their own ISP, the public face was all ours; our branding, content and personality. However, the back room was mostly Google.

I read, at the time, that Google thought competition and collaboration was the business model for new media.

It stuck with me. I could see the logic, they have the best search engine, we weren’t going to diminish their business, why not collaborate with us?

Opportunities to collaborate
Since then I see opportunities everywhere for a shift from competition to collaboration. Group agencies could do a better job collaborating, instead of competing for the client’s money.

Departments could find ways to share resources, instead of competing for their share of the budget.

Mangers could build collaborative teams instead of encouraging staff to compete with each other.

News from the experts
In Joined up thinking, published June 8th, The Financial Times says: “There is no more powerful belief in business than the one that vigorous competition leads to success…but a persuasive new set of theories is emerging which argue that co-operation trumps competition.

The fittest do not survive merely by outrunning their rivals. Rather, they win by finding ways to work together, by building the systems of trust and co-operation that allow groups to flourish.”

Is it right to move away from competition?
It’s a big shift to step away from the belief that competition brings out the best. It’s been a healthy motivator for innovation, price control and showing that you are the best in your field.

But technology is changing and with it is a new way to look at collaboration.

Traditional newspapers compete for daily sales but bloggers find collaboration is the way forward.

Today Bloggers can’t expect to be the only site their readers are interested in. They are more likely to garner loyalty, and return visits, by offering their readers links to other people’s sites. This collaboration, offering selected connections to other sites, builds a network of “co-operation that allows the group to flourish.”

How do you see this working in your industry? Do your digital ventures take a different approach to what were, traditionally, considered your competitors?

Drop a comment in the box below and tell us what you think.

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