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How to Compete with Apple and Google


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May 03, 2012

How to Compete with Apple and Google

By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Managing Editor

In a quick five-minute presentation at the Business Insider’s Startup 2012 event today in New York, Healy Jones of OfficeDrop shed some light on how small businesses and startups can take advantage of their sizes in order to successfully compete with the goliaths of the tech world such as Google (News - Alert) and Apple.

As OfficeDrop does cloud storage, Jones noted the apprehension that rippled throughout the company when Apple (News - Alert) came out with iCloud and when Google came out with Google Drive. But there are significant benefits to being a small startup in the same field as these big fellas, and he seemed to make the scene seem a bit less frightening for those startups.

“It all has to do with being lean,” said Jones. He noted how long it takes companies such as Google and Apple to launch anything because of all the administrative processes required before any decisions can officially be made.

“You stay with the core values that help you grow,” he continued. “A major advantage of being a startup is that you can release faster than other companies. The only way we can release quickly is because of how small we are.”

This notion of “staying lean” is furthered with the concept of having less “legacy bologna” than larger companies. Jones said that OfficeDrop has fewer procedures, processes, and administrative junk that needs to happen before products and services can be launched. This idea ties back into the timing advantage, but it also enables OfficeDrop to focus more intently on its customers.

“Your customers should be god,” said Jones. “As a small company, you should really be focused on your customers. Listen, respond, and adjust.”

Also, “swallow your pride and get big friends,” the audience found an important piece of advice from Jones. “Big companies are super duper predictable,” which ultimately gives the smaller companies an incredible advantage which can put them ahead of the goliaths.

Jones said, “Everyone knew that cloud storage would be big, so we spent the last two years gearing for Google search results for ‘cloud storage.’” Smart!

In a closing and reassuring remark, Jones told the audience that yes, you should be scared when big companies come into your market and your industry, but you should also recognize that that is a sign that what you are doing has value. The arrival of a goliath in your space brings validation to your idea, and should reinforce your motivation.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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