Well… [Google|Microsoft|Facebook|Amazon] could do that…

I’ve heard this three or four times over the last six months, not only with ChannelLauncher but with other companies that are getting off the ground in Tampa. Originally my response was (at least when this was said about ChannelLauncher) to defend. “Yes but here’s our approach…” ┬áIt’s become clear to me that the people stating this don’t understand innovation and have probably never read Crossing the Chasm. Here’s how this plays out. Small company grows into big company. Big company focuses on larger and larger clients. The smaller clients get left behind, their needs aren’t met and begin to look for alternatives. Tiny company builds tiny product for tiny group of clients. Tiny company improves on tiny product and becomes larger company with larger product and starts eating away at big company’s core customer base. Big company acquires said company. This is always happening. Now my response to “Google could do that.” is to ask what the person saying this actually does. Regardless of the response, 90% of the time I can say in complete honesty that Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, you name it, they already do it. You’re an investor? Google does that [Google Ventures]. You’re a business consultant? McKinsey does that and is bigger than you’ll ever be. You’re a social media expert? @MissDestructo does that and has more followers than you do. The fact is this, yes a [insert fortune 500 company name here] could do this. But is it cost effective for them to really go after your potential clients? It may in fact be better for the large company to let you build the market and get the clients – then acquire your business. So the next time someone tells you “Google could do that” you can, if you’ve done your homework and understand the market, tell them it’s more cost effective for Google to acquire you. See what their response to that one is.