Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From core competence to care competence

Its been some time since I wrote about something. These days its really difficult to write something original (of-course I might be one of the few surviving species which are really trying to write something original).And I believe it won't be late before we see books with titles like 'How to plagiarize and stay original' and 'Thousand ways to glean good content from totally unknown websites'. When I started writing this post I didn't even think about writing on content piracy on the web and I am not still sure why I went into that , maybe to add that extra bit of humor and content ,that a blog should necessarily have irrespective of what you are writing about. Believe me, I have seen blogs on US policies which makes you laugh (I believe much of it is not by design!). So as any 'traditional' (already!) blogger will tell you , one should stay close to the title one decides to name the post. What an irony! a few words deciding what the next many words are going to say!(I see some similarity to Indian elections , do you? ).Of Course I could have named this post bababa ba! and still talked about corporate strategy. But , these internet marketing guys keep telling me about staying on top of the search results and that titling is really important. So ,now I think it makes a lot of sense to title your post Corporate Strategy and talk about bababa ba! ((Sh)it anyway happens!) rather than the other way round.I think by now most of the formalities have been done , can we get serious?

Was there a recent dent in the core competence theory? Mind you, it has undergone several dents in our case discussions , but what I am talking about is a global(can we call this a big picture?) dent. Any Idea? Bing(o)!, Microsoft launches a search engine. These were guys who were more worried about how people interacted with PCs rather than what they did with it. of course any third grade kid would tell you what you did with computers - play games,watch videos. Now , Microsoft says it is going to capture Google's market share in search space. What has Google got to say on this? Worser than the Microsoft case , they launch an open source operating system for net books. Who needs a net book ? Someone who feels that a stand alone operating system is redundant , and wants everything on the internet , and someone who lives in a place where you have amazing bandwidth. One important characteristic that is common in these aspects mentioned above is that the person requires faster access to standardized services. I am still trying to figure out what made Google do this. Most of the net book users would be indifferent to an Open source operating system. Even if you needed one , you can run Ubuntu.

Why would Google launch an operating system and Microsoft a free (This is not supposed to be humor) search service , and which would be more successful in the longer run?. I believe this is where care competence (I take the honors of introducing this new term to management literature) comes into picture. Gone are the days when firms kept to their core competence. The era of care competence is in. To put it in simple words, Google was a 'no evil' company which started out free in the 'search engine space'. It took good care of its customers and charged people who had more (than what they got) to gain from it. Google has gained much credence in this space and customers world wide trust Google for being free and also accurate. Its ad words and ad sense are user friendly and not business friendly . Now , when it launches an operating system (that too an open source system , which is not that great an innovation) , people will buy that because of two reasons , 1) the net book will cost you lesser (this is crucial as most of the world's net book users will be from Asia in the next decade due to age demographics, population demographics and Asians generally look for value for money) and 2) more importantly it is from 'Google' whose user care index is very high.Google can then introduce many other business models based on the user base which it can accumulate with this operating system.

What happens to Microsoft? It makes sense for Google to launch an Operating System. Why would Microsoft launch a search engine? Of course everyone knows Microsoft wants to play a big role in online advertising. But this cannot be built overnight. You need user base to do that. Thats exactly the reason why Microsoft has gone into increasing its user care index by providing free, dependable search engine. Google started out with care competence as its fulcrum while Microsoft is moving from its core competence (Closed operating systems) to Care Competence. Who is ready to take the first bite in this first round? Only time can decide. But , my gut feel is that Google has an edge over Microsoft.The era of care competence is in. Only firms which care for its customers , can make it big. This can even involve giving services for free and letting go of immediate profits! Sticking with Core competence no longer makes sense. To be fair to management theories , we will have to redefine core competency to include such subtle competitive skills.

Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion and analysis. Please go through materials on the web to decide for yourself whats happening!

No comments: