A death by a thousand cuts - how do you challenge Apple if you are a startup.

A death by a thousand cuts - the way a major negative change which happens slowly in many unnoticed increments is not perceived as objectionable.

The idea is that a dominant position such as Apple's can be challenged not by attacking frontally but by creating and/or dominating some specific verticals, with a powerful brand & utility combination.

Taking a small, undeserved segment at Apple's edge, and creating value backed by solid marketing could lead to having a noticeable position in a difficult market with startup resources.

Basically, in a startup play, you spend $4-5M in a few years and which presumably would lead to a good brand, an economic model and arguably a functioning team. It is dificult to do that in a huge corporation with this budget.

Another way of doing is a bit risky - playing a complementary role to Fitbit's effort to attack frontally Apple. Risky, as Fitbit doesn't seem as equally fit to strategically compete with Apple head to head.

But... Fitbit knows best how to do hardware and, under Fitbit's arm, a startup with a dominant position in a niched vertical can leverage knowledge of building a combo of cool brand & utility in other markets - i.e. snowboard, water surfing, tennis (yes, BestShot).

The way Fitbit goes now by competing with a Fitbit OS, and w/ a general smart watch competing against Apple Watch, is a bit dangerous as they willl need to have at par Apple's developers ecosystem and their integration. And if they go frontal they will crash loudly.

But if they sneak in, step by step, by owning some key verticals, they might have a decent chance to count in the game.

And this is what tiny incumbent may be able to put on the table. And, very important, in a dual Fitbit/startup play, they need to integrate and manage those brands the way Google did w/ Youtube, or Facebook did w/ Instagram or Whatsapp - let them grow by themselves, don't corporately suffocate them.

The opportunity is that on specific verticals people are more inclined to adopt a saas model and pay monthly for their hobby as opposed to a general device such as Apple's.

That is, in a nutshell, a startup sale pitch positioning, the rest is execution, networking & bullshit magic. The big question is, given it is active in that underserved vertical to exploit, can a startup gather the required resources, the key people and visionaries to take this long term and make it happen?

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