Understanding the Two Forms of Competition

No matter who you are, when you start an online business you try to get a feel for the competitive landscape.

Unfortunately, many people often only look at one form of competition when there are two.

What are the two forms of competition?

  1. Category: This is what people usually look for. Ford vs Chevrolet.
  2. Outcome: This is what many people miss. Netflix vs TikTok.

What are the differences between these? Let’s take a look.

What Is Category Competition?

Category competition is the competition that competes head-to-head in your category.

Think of two gas stations across the street from each other. They both serve gas and therefore they are in the same category.

This is the default layer of competition that people look for which means many fall into the trap of trying to be better than that competition.

This means they add more features to their offers in the belief that it will make their offer more appealing.

Look at Ford vs Chevrolet.

They both create vehicles. If you compare one truck to another how do you compare?

  • Horsepower
  • Miles per gallon
  • Cargo space
  • Aesthetics

When the competition does one thing, you have to find a way to one-up them.

This definitely plays into the hands of a Finite Game mindset.

What Is Outcome Competition?

This type of competition is more fun and more fruitful when you notice.

It’s also why nobody stays on top forever.

Did you know that Netflix is competing directly with TikTok?

It doesn’t seem like it because Netflix has full shows and movies while TikTok is thought to be the place for dancing teens.

But what is the outcome that many of their audiences want?

To be entertained.

As long as they are being entertained then they will keep their attention on that thing.

If I’m being entertained by TikTok would I even think about turning on Netflix? Probably not.

So the more time I spend on TikTok, the less time I spend on Netflix.

What will probably happen is that one day TikTok will release longer forms of content that are made by their audience. Netflix will continue to believe they aren’t in the same category and ignore them until the day comes when people stop watching Netflix and they turn to TikTok.

Competing on Two Fronts and None At All

This might seem frustrating because who wants to compete against two types of competition?


And you honestly shouldn’t even try and the reason why is because you shouldn’t have any competition.

There is no competition when playing the Infinite Game.

Want to discuss this post? 🤗

As you can see we don't do comments, but that doesn't mean we don't want to discuss things. If you have a question, comment, or just want to chat with us about this post then send an email to scrivs@pocketbusiness.com with your thoughts.

Want to impress your friends? Share this post! 🧐

Studies have shown that you can prove that you're smarter than your friends by sharing this post with them. They'll think “dammit, this person obviously knows more than me because they read this post first!”