Collaborate, Compete, Cooperate

Leaders such as Yahoo!'s Tim Sanders and smartRay's Troy Tyler extoll the strategic value of "co-opetition," or working with your competitors — not against them.

In a recent newsletter, MarketIdeaShop's Lois Carter Fay describes the reasons why she often cites, compliments, and recommends people — and companies — who are ostensibly her rivals:

  • It gives me more products to sell.
  • I have a larger sales force than I would have without affiliates.
  • My credibility is enhanced by being associated with stellar competitors.
  • My competitors can provide excellent content for my electronic magazine, which makes my job easier and my ezine more interesting to my readers.
  • I can provide articles to my competitors to use in their ezines, expanding my reach to their subscriber base.
  • My sales increase and my profitability rises.
  • I can learn from my competitors (and they from me) because they have different skill sets and experiences than I do. In other words, we can mentor each other.
  • If I am swamped or need help, I can call on my competitors to help me serve my clients.
  • If my competitors are swamped or need help, I can sell my services to them or their clients.