Monday, September 24, 2012

Only way to stay in business is to adapt constantly

There is an on-going battle between Craigslist and PadMapper.  PadMapper had been scrapping user posting from Craigslist, and earlier Craigslist responded by issuing cease-and-decease notice to them.  PadMapper responded by partnering with 3taps to provide Craigslist posts to its users.  Subsequently Craigslist sued 3taps citing copyright laws.  3taps responded with its counter-suit against Craigslist today.

3taps is taking the legal battle against Craigslist to another level.
You can read the press release from

Watching all the legal tit for tat, we can easily lose sight of what is really important.  That is customers.  At the end of the day, it does not matter who wins the legal argument because that is not going to help you retain the customers.  Customers are interested in solving their problem.  Customer will always choose what works.  Whether it is Craigslist, 3tap, PadMapper or all three working in conjunction, it does not matter to customers.

Too often successful business starts spending more energy defending its business than out-innovate and stay a step ahead of competitions to solve customer's problem better.  That's when we see all these legal battles and patent wars.

There was an excellent article by Mike Elgan on Cult of Mac about Apple's obsession to compete with Google recently.  It's the same lesson.  Instead of focusing on wowing customers, it's much more tempting, and makes some business sense, to defend the current business by focusing on competitors.

I cannot think of a business that can exist without customer.  Only way to stay in business is to adapt and innovate constantly.

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