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The Most Surprising Business Rivalries Of 2016

This year's top competitors stand to remake their industries and society at large.

The Most Surprising Business Rivalries Of 2016

Last year, when we initiated the idea of a New Rivalries package, it was driven in large part by the idea of disruption and insurgents challenging incumbents. It was also influenced by Uber and Lyft. Their competition for riders and drivers was (and is) fascinating, but what was truly instructive at the time was that a lot of prominent people were calling for the two companies to join hands and sing kumbaya. While we don’t endorse dirty tricks, competition is something to be celebrated and learned from, not swept away.

This year, we're excited to revisit the package. The rivalries we've seen emerge are far more varied and surprising and, in many ways, stand to remake much bigger swaths of society.

Think about it: Snapchat and Facebook are fighting for the attention span and digital habits of everyone 35 and younger, as well as the future of interpersonal communication and brand advertising.

SpaceX versus Blue Origin is an ego-fueled battle to be the 21st Century General Dynamics and the United Airlines of space, but more importantly, this is a fight to be the world's most beloved visionary dreamer and doer.

Chobani and General Mills may seem like just a bit of sourness fermenting in the dairy aisle, but it’s really about the differences between build versus buy cultures (sorry for the pun) and catering to the rapidly evolving tastes of the American consumer.

Slack versus Skype (really Slack versus Microsoft, but hey, alliteration!) is a fight for the future of workplace productivity.

Even Postmates and Tinder, which aren’t really rivals in the traditional sense, compete to design ever more effective ways to use your smartphone to defeat your impulse control.


Read our full July/August 2016, online now.

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