It’s possible to identify the key players that overlap with a company’s Business model with a competitor analysis. This overlapping can be analyzed in terms of key customers, technologies, distribution, and financial models. When all those elements are analyzed, it is possible to map all the facets of competition for a tech business model to understand better where a business stands in the marketplace and its possible future developments.
Why competition in the business tech world looks slightly different
There are several way to look at competition. However, in a digital world, the concept itself (for now) has become more fluid. Indeed, when you look at companies like Amazon, Tesla or perhaps Google, where would you start? True, each of those companies have a main market/industry (Tesla = electric cars, Amazon = e-commerce, Google = search) and yet when we have a closer look at what those companies do we realize there is more to it.
Indeed, as those companies operate at the edge of business and technological innovation, often times they place bets on new markets and industires that if prove to develop, can become whole new industries.
So where do we start?
Understanding competition in the business tech world
In the VTDF framework, I broke down tech companies business models in four main parts:
- And Financial model.
Each of those parts is essential to build a viable long-term tech business model.
Thus, we can leverage on this same model to also analyze competition in the business tech world.
Breaking down competition in the business tech world
When it comes to competition in the business tech world, we’ll analyze it from a few perspectives:
- Current Customer Overlap: who are the key customers that are currently getting value and sustaining the business?
- Current Technology Overlap: what is the key technological advantage that sustains the value proposition of the business?
- Current Distribution Overlap: what is the key distribution channel the company is using to enhance the use of the technology that enhances the value proposition?
- Current Financial Model Overlap: is the company using equity/capital, debt/financing to grow or perhaps is it bootstrapping?
Once looked at the four components above, we can look at a fifth one:
- Future Technology Development: what technologies is the company developing that can help develop a whole new market?
Let’s see each of those elements in details.
Current Customer Overlap
Who are the key customers that are currently getting value and sustaining the business?
Current Technology Overlap
What is the key technological advantage that sustains the value proposition of the business?
Current Distribution Overlap
What is the key distribution channel the company is using to enhance the use of the technology that enhances the value proposition?
Current Financial Model Overlap
Is the company using equity/capital, debt/financing to grow or perhaps is it bootstrapping?
Future Technology Development
What technologies is the company developing that can help develop a whole new market?
Case Study: Tesla
Tesla isn’t just an automaker. Its business model spans across the electric-only car industry (a once blue ocean market that Tesla helped open up).
Tesla is also an electric generation and storage company, with SolarCity’s acquisition, which is an essential element of the Tesla business model‘s future success. It is enabling the ecosystem that will make Tesla sustainable as a company in the long-term.
In addition, Tesla is also investing on autonomous driving player. For that, we’ll have to analyze Tesla from these three perspectives.
Within the automaking segment, Tesla has over the years diversified its products‘ lines, to cover different segments of the market. When Tesla entered the market, as a go-to-market strategy it had to enter it (nonetheless Elon Musk’s long-term vision to make the electric car available to the masses) with the Roadster model.
Sport & Performance
The primary models covering this segments are:
- Roadster: here some of the competitors are Dodge Challenger, Porsche Chiron, and Bugatti
- Model S: in this segment, Tesla competes with players like Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Porsche Panamera, Audi A7 & A8 and more.
The primary models covering this segments are:
- Model X: here some of the competitors are BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Volvo XC90, Porsche Cayenne.
- Model Y (compact SUV): in this segment, Tesla competes with Renault Zoe, Nissan LEAF, Volksvagen e-Golf, Audi e-tron and more.
In this segment, Tesla just launched the Cybertruck:
Cybertruck’s competitors comprise Rivian, Ford, Bollinger.
Tesla has finally its mass-market product, the Model 3. This model competes with models such as BMW Series 2,3,4,5 Mercedes Class C, CLA, CLS, Audi A3, A4, A5, Lexus, ES, GS, and many others.
Energy Generation & Storage
Tesla acquired SolarCity back in 2016, for $2.6 billion, and with that, it competes in the electric production and storage industry with players like SunRun, SunPower, Vivint Sonar, Trinity Solar, and SolarWorld to mention a few.
Tesla’s Autopilot is one of the key ingredients of its technology and one of the most interesting future developments for the company. In this segment, Tesla competes with other autonomous driving companies like Zoox (bought by Amazon), Waymo (an Alphabet bet), and Baidu.
Read Also: Tesla Competitors, Amazon Competitors.
- Business Models
- Platform Business Models
- Digital Business Models
- Distribution Channels
- Business Strategy
- Value Proposition
- Marketing Strategy
- Brand Building
- SWOT Analysis
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