In every field of business there are always the big players who dominate the industry (we always refer to them as the big five or big four).

For instance in construction, you will find: Murray and Roberts, WBHO, Aveng, Basil Read and Group Five, in the audit industry there is the big five: Pricewaterhousecoopers, Ernst and Young, KPMG and Deloitte and a South African a challenger brand: SizweNtsalubaGobodo. In the banking industry there is: Standard Bank, FNB, ABSA and Nedbank and a challenger brand Capitec Bank and in soccer there is the so-called traditional four: Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirate, Mamelodi Sundowns and Moroka Swallow and other challenger brands such as Ajax Cape Town, Platinum Stars and Supersport United.

Practically every industry has the big established businesses, the big fish.

The question therefore is: As a start-up entrepreneur how do you over time compete with the big established businesses, how to eat the big fish. This can be a daunting task and at times very intimidating. The following five blogs highlight how small and start-up brands challenge and eat the big fish, the foundation of these blogs is based on the book: Eating The Big Fish by Adam Morgan.

Eating the Big Fish: Apple Inc

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance…. Unless you have a lot of passion about this, you’re not going to survive. You’re going to give it up. So you’ve got to have an idea, or a problem or a wrong that you want to right that you’re passionate about; otherwise, you’re not going to have the perseverance to stick it through.” — Steve Jobs

Underdog: Apple Inc
Topdog: Microsoft

Humble beginnings: Apple was famously founded in Steve Job’s garage in 1976. While its success rose and fell over years, by 2002 the company was facing a huge challenge. Microsoft’s market cap was $356.8 billion, Apple was only $7.7 billion.

Underdog edge: Apple remained committed to innovation and sleek design. Under Steve Jobs’s leadership, they released a series of “game changers,” including the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Underdog on top: In 2010, Apple exceeded Microsoft in sales for the first time in 10 years.

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