judo300x4001.jpg          Judo Strategy

In the martial art of judo, a combatant uses the weight and the strength of his opponent to his own advantage rather than opposing blow directly to blow. Similarly smart internet companies aim to turn their opponent’s resources, strength and size against them.

Judo strategy is based on 3 elements: rapid movement, flexibility, and leverage.

  • Rapid movement requires judo players to move rapidly to new markets and uncontested ground, thus avoiding head-to-head combat.
    • Move to new products that redefine the competitive space
    • Move to new pricing models that competitors are  unable to emulate
    • Move to new testing and distribution models that avoid competitor’s strengths
  • Flexibility demands that players give way to superior force when squarely attacked.
    • Avoid sumo matches, unless you’re bigger and stronger than your opponent
    • Embrace and extend rival’s smart moves
    • Mesh flexibility and tactical adjustments with long-term strategic plans
  • Leverage calls for players to use the weight and strength of opponents against them.
    • Turn your opponent’s strategic commitments and investments to your advantage
    • Cooperate with others who are threatened by your opponent’s success

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This post is based on the article Judo Strategy: The Competitive Dynamics of Internet Time, written by David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano, published in the HBR of January/February 1999