How to Be a Classy Competitor

Competition Can Be Classy

When the world is too much for me and politics, current events, work or just plain mean people are getting me down, I seek peace and joy in baking.

Well, not literally. I mean The Great British Baking Show.

It was once called The Great British Bake Off but a trademark issue with Pillsbury forced it to change names when it came over from the UK to the States. Perhaps you’ve caught a bit of it with initial judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (best names ever), and then later with Paul and new sidekick Pru Leith – all well-respected, famous fixtures on the British baking and cooking scene. And the hilarious hosts (for comic relief) who narrate the happenings and in equal parts tease/encourage the contestants.

Why do I love this show? Not just the ridiculously amazing creations these amateur cooks make, from patisserie to scrumptious fruit pies, to ornate wedding cakes, to savory pasties and mouth-watering crunchy breads.

The show is a competition. And it’s beautiful and glorious.

And apparently, I’m not alone. No backstabbing. No diva drama. No ruthless camera asides when their fellow competitors are not watching.

Just a group of ambitious people doing what they love, and making sure they show their very, very best.

Some will help each other when things go wrong. Others will provide a little advice to someone who is not quite sure of the end result (this often happens with the technical challenge, where contestants have no idea what they’ll be asked to make.) One episode even found an ICU physician bandaging up a fellow contestant who had sliced his finger with a sharp knife.

This is how classy competition can be.

You can be classy and still want to win. (TWEET THIS!)

No one needs to tear anyone else down to build themselves down. They let the creations speak for themselves. And they celebrate each others successes, often giving a little wink or silent cheer when another person’s work is judged well by the experienced hosts.

And, more importantly, all this compassion and support does not mean each contestant does not want to win. Some of them are very competitive.

Forget ugly American reality TV shows (except The Voice, which I think does a similar nice job with this). People can be supportive and ambitious. Kind and competitive.  They can learn from each other and celebrate their successes.

We just need to change the script that defines competitive success.

More articles you may like on how to change the way we look at “competition”:

How to Understand Your Competitors Without Falling into a Jealousy TrapWhat Are Your Competitors Secrets? Here’s How to Find Out

What Are Your Competitors Success Secrets? Here’s How to Find Out

04.14.15 secrets BLOG

Is it possible to check out your competitors without falling into a deep, dark pool of insecurity and self-doubt?

Yes. Here’s how.

Paramount to this process is the act of objectively, strategically seeing what your competitors are doing. There’s little benefit to weeping with envy over your competitor’s perfect prose but it is helpful to notice how many service offerings they have or how often they post on Facebook.

There’s a  fine line between diligently staying your course and sticking your head in the sand. It’s just ego to think you never need to change and adapt. You must know what is going on in the marketplace and more importantly, what your prospective customers are seeing and experiencing if you want to stay relevant and compelling. Great businesses understand the fine art of this balance between nimbly reacting to competitor moves and staying true to their own vision.

With that in mind, I created a handy, dandy worksheet for you. This worksheet will help you gather tons of helpful information and remove a lot of those self-esteem ruining moments.

Share this worksheet and help others learn about their competitors the objective way. (Tweet this!)


How many products or services do they offer?

Do they post their prices? If so, how much do they charge? If they have similar offerings to what you have, are there features they include in the price or do they charge extra?

Are their offerings one-on-one and customized? Do they offer packaged info products? Group offerings? A mixture of both?

Are their offerings evergreen and always available? Or do they open and close periodically?

Does it seem like they’re a one-person operation? Or do they have a large team?

Do they have testimonials? How many? Are their testimonials on a separate page or on specific service pages – or both?


Does their site look professionally designed? Is it easy to navigate?

What is the vibe and the main messages or benefits they tout?

How do they present their offerings: by industry, by audience, by type?

Do they have a newsletter? How do they entice people into signing up for their newsletter?

How many places do they link to or promote their newsletter and other offerings throughout the site (cross-linking)?

Do they have a blog? If so, how often do they post?

Are their blog posts related to their offerings?

How long is their About page? Are there outgoing links on their About page? If so, where are those links going?

Do they use a pop up to capture emails?

Social media

Which social media platforms are they on? Where are they most active?

How often do they post on those channels? What type of content do they post?

How many followers/fans do they have on each channel and more importantly, how ENGAGED are those fans? (RTs, Shares, Likes, Comments).Which posts get the most comments, shares or likes? Are there common threads you can see in their topics, format or which posts are most popular?

Do they @mention people or use specific hashtags?

Do they use images?

What “voice” do they use in social media? Is it consistent with their brand? 

What link do they use on their social media profiles? Does it go to their home page? A landing page?

Print this out, pour yourself a glass of wine (I may be drinking a nice shiraz) and see what insights you can gather from your competitors.

And then use that information to tweak your online space accordingly.

Have you ever researched your competitors online? Share your best tips in the comments!

P.S. If you find that most of your competitors are using Twitter more effectively than you are, this will help. If you need help with Facebook, read this.

photo by Grey World // cc

How to Understand Your Competitors Without Falling Into a Jealousy Trap

04.07.15 jealousy TWITTER

Stop me if this sounds familiar.

An intelligent, experienced marketing professional gives you the sage advice to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing.

So you do.

You subscribe to their newsletters. You pore over their lush, beautifully written blog posts. You stalk their social media profiles and notice that their followers number is in the tens of thousands. You read all their testimonials and then stalk the people who gave those testimonials.

And instead of feeling inspired and informed, you feel completely, horrifically consumed by jealousy.

How can he get away with charging so much?! Why do her tweets get retweeted so many times? How’d he get 12,000 Facebook fans? I’m doing all the same things … why is she so much more popular than I am?!

(cue minor melt down)

It’s important to know what your competitors are doing. It’s a lot more important to maintain your self-esteem.

With that in mind, here are five things you can do to stay abreast of your competitors without losing your mind or your sense of self. (Tweet this!)

1. Know your strengths and preferences
Maybe your biggest competitor has an amazing Instagram account, filled with photos of her sweet toddler and handsome husband, but you’re super private. Maybe they publish five long, thoughtful posts each week and you’re more of a once-a-week blogger.

Before you check in with your competitors, take a few minutes to remind yourself of what you truly love doing and what you could do without. If you’re loathe to use Pinterest, it doesn’t matter how many Pinterest followers your competitor has, you won’t be using that platform.

2. Build your success backwards
What does success look like for you? Is it attending mid-week matinees because you can? Taking a month off every summer? Paying off your school debt in one fell swoop? A high-ceilinged, light-filled loft in Tribeca? However success looks to you, it’s probably more complex than Instagram followers or numbers of retweets.

When you know what your version of success looks like, you can reverse engineer it. You can work time into your schedule for matinees and summers off. You can save or earn with your school debt in mind. You can check out Tribeca’s rental prices. When you’re taking steps towards your personal version of success, you’re less likely to be threatened by what others are doing.

3. Know that popularity doesn’t always equal profitability
One of my most successful friends didn’t have a website till a few years ago. She ran an incredibly successful consulting business that relied exclusively on word of mouth. And she was raking in a six-figure income with a wait-list that she’d refer out to others.

Likewise, I know a few people with tens of thousands of Instagram followers who are barely scraping by. Or writers with New York Times bestsellers who still work part-time at ad agencies. A person’s numbers – their social media followers, their retweets, their blog comments – don’t tell the whole picture. Not by a long shot.

4. Look at their bigger picture
Some of my favorite bloggers and online personalities have lives that are very, very different from mine – which means their offerings, blog posts, and social media updates will be very different. Marie Forleo is a wildly successful business coach who speaks mostly to women through highly-styled, polished videos she produces each week. Natalie Sisson of The Suitcase Entrepreneur lives life as a global nomad and provides fabulous tools, content and resources for fellow wanderlust-seekers who want to create lifestyle businesses that don’t tie them down. Pioneer Woman lives on a cattle ranch and home schools her four children and her successful blog following has led to her own show on The Food Network. The Glamourai is a ridiculously stylish 20-something fashion blogger who lives in NYC. Joy The Baker is a single, childfree, cat-loving food blogger who makes a home in New Orleans. I love these women; our lives couldn’t be more different.

And because our lives are different, we approach business differently. I’m a new mom; I’m not interested in devoting 60 hours a week to my business. I don’t want to just target women. I have other passions such as acting and writing that I want to build into my work. When you feel the green-eyed monster rearing its head, take a few steps back and consider the bigger picture – both yours and theirs.

5. Follow and research strategically
Checking in on your competitors doesn’t necessarily mean reading their blog daily or noting each and every time they tweet or post a photo. That’s a recipe for anxiety and neurosis.

Instead, set aside a few hours each month to see what a few competitors are up to and then approach this practice as an objective investigation. Less “I’ll never write as well as they do!” and more “I can see they post once a week, every Wednesday and tweet five times a day.”

In fact, next week I’ll be sharing a worksheet to help you objectively check in with your competitors. You’ll emerge with tons of helpful information, self-esteem in tact. Want it sent directly to your inbox? Sign up for my newsletter!

How do you walk the line between information and insecurity? Do you make an effort to see what your competitors are up to? 

P.S. More self-esteem boosting marketing and branding advice here.

photo by Javier Morales // cc

What’s your brand position? 5 moves you can try

What do yoga, the Kama Sutra and brand strategy have in common?

It’s all about the right positioning. (Tweet it!)

When your brand finds the right position to attract the right target customer, it’s like star-crossed lovers meeting in the rain at the Eiffel Tower. It just works. There’s connection. There’s magic.

But what does “positioning” really mean? And how do you land on the right position for your brand? Positioning is not just about ensuring you speak to the right buying drivers of your ideal customer or client, but also about how you stack up against alternate choices.

Think about it in terms of brands you know: Does Porsche really position itself in the same category as a Volkswagen? Are they speaking to the same needs of the same target audience? Heck no. In a past post, I shared how brand analogies are a useful way of wrapping your arms around where your brand plays in the market.

Let’s discuss some broad-brush options – there are nuances to all of these. One is not “better” than the other, as there are markets and customers for everything. And you can offer a few of the same things, but what is going to be your Lead Offer? How do you primarily want the business to be positioned in prospects’ minds?

  1. PRICE: Price is a good choice if 1) you can achieve volume and 2) you are targeting an audience that cares about price as a buying driver. The fine jeweler Tiffany & Co. doesn’t position based on price, because that’s not why people buy from them. They buy from them because of elegance, cache, and luxury craftsmanship. Walmart, however, positions itself based on “lowest prices” because of their target customer and their volume and reach. Positioning based on low prices has its drawbacks: this strategy attracts the least loyal customers because if they find a lower price elsewhere, that’s where they will go. Someone can always undercut you, and it’s hard to defend long term. Plus, you may not attract the customer or clients you really want.  Competing on price has a tendency to “cheapen” your brand and perceived value. Some people may avoid you thinking your low price says something about the quality.
  2. QUALITY:  This positioning is not about price but about value. This message will resonate for people who are not as price sensitive but care about results, aesthetics, or craftsmanship. This position works if your products or services do indeed deliver the highest quality. If you tout high-quality products, they better last. If you are a life coach competing on quality, you’re going to have to have some strong testimonials and success stories to back up this claim. Price becomes a non-starter if you are leading with a quality position.
  3. EXCLUSIVITY: This position is about scarcity and limited access, as well as cache. It works if you offer a limited amount or only take on a certain type of customer or client, which can be can be perceived as higher value. Again, price is not an issue – and in fact if it’s too low, it could raise red flags.  A club with a expensive VIP wait list. A pricey seminar with limited spots. An event planner who only takes on four celebrity weddings a year. This strategy means you may well be targeting a very specific niche of client or customer – so your  customer list needs to reinforce this position. Many high-end designers or stylists employ this strategy. With this strategy, you are looking to attract people who want to be “in the know” and appealing to their sense of jealousy or aspiration. They are more attracted to you because it could be something they can’t have!
  4. SERVICE: Are you all about the customer experience? Do you respond within 8 hours? Do you offer a 100% money back guarantee? Do you customize your consulting offerings based on each client’s needs? Do you offer an amazing concierge service? How do you go above and beyond? Nordstrom combines a quality positioning with a strong customer-service component. So does Zappos. In my book, Branding Basics (2nd Edition) I included many case studies from small businesses that combine a quality position with one of dedicated customer service. Be careful, though, when combining low price and quality service: It’s fine to offer both – Walmart doesn’t necessarily want their employees to be rude to customers, right? But “best quality” and “lowest price” can often contradict each other and confuse two different buying drivers. Again, what is your “lead” position – who is your target market and which do they care about the most?
  5. PERSONALITY:  You can position based on your brand voice, look and feel. How do you you talk and act – and thus, WHO you are talking to? Are you the quirky, playful, whimsical one? The trusted, conservative one? The edgy, innovative one?  Again, choose wisely as the personality you position yourself around should map to the person you’re trying to attract and speak to their buying drivers.

Offshoots of a personality-based position include social good: positioning your business not as the best quality, or cheapest price or most exclusive but as the one that benefits a good cause. Tom’s Shoes positions themselves this way to appeal to a certain buyer who is driven to buy based on social responsibility.  They may not make the best quality shoes, or even talk about how much they charge. But they are leading with their social good message.

Another offshoot  is thought-leadership: is your business, founder or CEO a visionary or does the market look to your business as a bellweather? Think of Tony Hsieh (Shay) from Zappos talking about excellent customer service and “delivering happiness.” Steve Jobs and Apple. I once worked with an IT consultancy client. What they did was not unique but the CEO was an amazing man with an impressive military background and strong values. We combined a thought leadership strategy with a brand voice strategy to make his company stand out from the competition. This may not work for you in the short term or until you achieve scale and reach, but it is something to think about.

OK, great. You know you need a positioning strategy. How do you choose?

  1. First, take inventory of your strengths and attributes which are authentic to what you can consistently deliver.  It’s not the time to pretend to be something you know you can’t possibly deliver. What do you do well, or if you’re rebranding or launching, what will you do well?
  2. Now, identify those attributes that are most
    1. Relevant (does your target ideal customer care? Does it speak to how and why they buy?)
    2. Unique (none of your competitors are positioning this way or going after that particular buying driver. We call this “whitespace” in the market)
    3. Compelling (which ones will generate buzz and align with your company’s culture and personality?0)

Once you land on your position, you can communicate it through all your brand messaging, customer touchpoints and even look and feel.  Kismet. Connection. Ease.

Want guidance in determining your brand position, strengths and voice? Check out my self-paced digital course MOMENTUM Pro!

Photo credit: Bozdoz, Benjamin J. DeLong, Flickr

How is your brand positioned? To which target audience and buying drivers do you most appeal? Are you struggling to determine your position – maybe I can help? Please share below in the Comments!

The myth of the brand facade

Flying back from the Midwest this holiday season, we had some customer service issues with American Airlines.  Snarky flight attendants, a ridiculously understaffed gate (one poor soul checking in 3 flights – and re-routing passengers from a cancelled flight – but, wow, she was quite a trooper) Yes, they are going through Chapter 11, yes, the  industry in general is taking a beating, and yes, 98% of their competitors are not much better.

Makes it so easy for someone like Virgin America to come along and differentiate. When the bar is set so low by so many, it’s not hard to raise it even an inch.

I find it interesting to note that nowhere on American’s site can you find a statement of their philsopphy or what they stand for – not even in their About Us section. They just list a bunch of things they do. What the heck do the employees have to rally around? But it’s easy to find purpose and mission on Virgin America’s site….hmmmmm.

I started thinking about all the brand messages we see from airlines -and financial services institutions. These companies spend millions telling us they care about customers, they care about you as a person, their employees are committed, caring and sharp dressers.

Why do they bother?

We all know when we pull back the brand facade, we’ll experience delays, poor service, long telephone hold times and endless bureaucracy. Wells Fargo is our bank with whom we had our previous mortgage. When they declined to refiannce us (with excellent credit history, mind you) after a botched and complicated application process where the left hand did not know what the right was doing, we went elsewhere. Then we started getting marketing letters in the mail offering us a great – and easy – refinance process with them. WTF?!

When American Airlines shows TV commercials of smiling, calm people breezing on to the plane as if they were entering a spa, we know the reality is poor communication, delays, crowded gates and crying babies.

I’ve often called this ‘putting a coat of brand paint” on top of a flawed product/service/company. Do they really think we’re going to believe? Does the CEO really understand what it’s like to a be a frustrated customer? I don’t think so, or they would never spend million-dollar plus line items on something everyone knows is not reality. The emperor has no clothes, so why are you spending so much to tell us otherwise? Wouldn’t that money be better spent on actually delivering that level of service to begin with?

In your industry, such shenanigans offer a prime opportunity to step up and make a promise you can actually keep – that alone will differentiate you. Southwest Airlines does it by promising low prices and no bag fees (and a downhome, even funny, customer service persona) – and they deliver. Virgin America promises to make flying fun again – and everything from their calm and friendly staff to the  personalized in-flight entertainment system to funny safety video delivers.

Ally Bank has tried to make you think they are the quirky bank that is on your side. Their TV commercials are pretty funny. Now, I have no direct customer experience with them, so I’m not sure if they deliver. But did you know that Ally is simply GMAC, rebranded?

Some of my most interesting clients have been in what could be seen as unglamourous but as I said, when the bar is set so low to begin with, the opportunity to raise it up is huge. Wish these airline and bank CEO’s could open their eyes and see that. Maybe then they wouldn’t be filing for Chapter 11 but actually delivering on what they promise in their TV commercials.

Wow. What a concept.

Microsoft finds the brand sauce…finally

I’m pleased as punch about Microsoft’s new branding directions lately. They are finally starting to connect on an emotional level with some consistency across their consumer products. Hurrah!

OK, I’m not on drugs: I know they don’t necessarily have the rabid fans of Apple. but they are making strides for a company that has previously made all their consumer products feel disconnected (and with poor, confusing names, I might add – but that’s for another post).

After their success with Windows 7 “My Idea” campaign, which showed how users just want technologies to fit our lives and be what WE need them to be, they continued those efforts with Bing. Presenting Bing not just as another Google, but as an alternative to every search engine by being more about finding the right answer versus “search overload proved effective, believable and got people talking.  Bing is indeed a different experience from Google. May not tear Google die-hards away, but their point was not to do that. It was to provide the alternative to those looking for one; for those who were not getting the experience they wanted from Google.

Now Microsoft will be launching it’s brand new Windows 7 phone. A bit late to the party? Hell yes. But from all accounts, I’ve heard this will be pretty sweet indeed. And they were smart about it. Their brand campaign will not be about “another smartphone:” It’s not about competing with the existing phones on the market – Blackberry, iPhone, and Android – but about turning the entire way we look at all smartphones on its head. According to a recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journal. it’s a commentary on our “culture of mobile distraction”. Ads will show horrible predicaments caused by people lost in their phones, texting, playing games, etc and the consequences of that. Then it will present Windows 7 phones as being able to “get you in, and out, and back to life.”

When others zig, sometimes you have no choice but to zag.

Microsoft knows they need to stand out. They need to be a bit edgy, a bit devil’s advocate, because they are lagging in this market. But I for one feel like their brand efforts are finally going in the right direction and are beginning to uniformly stand for something: making technology work for us, not the other way around. We shall see if this new brand effort actually delivers on its promise.

Which problem is killing your business?

As a new book author, I have learned a ton about the publishing industry over the last year or so. I’ve pretty much been riding by the seat of my pants and unspoken rules are revealed to me each day, much like an onion shedding its layers. I used to think publishing a book was fairly straightforward – and it can be if you self-publish and have millions of devoted fans ready to devour your product. But you have to work to get to that point, as Seth Godin just announced: after millions of best-selling books  he’s able to bypass the traditional publishing establishment and self-publish direct to his legions of fans.

Sure, anyone can do this. But do they have the base that Seth has to make that a successful proposition? Well, guess it depends on what your goals are and the size of your tribe.

Putting all that aside, I’ve heard a lot of hoopla casting eBooks, Kindles and iPad’s as the assassins to the traditional brick and mortar stores and your lovely independent bookseller around the corner; That publishing as we know it is a dying due to the new vehicles and opportunities that people with good ideas have for spreading their words.

Well, I have a different theory: it’s not these new technologies or shrinking margins that are going to kill the traditional publishing-bookseller industry: it’s going to be their willingness to adapt and get the heck out of their own way. I present my exhibits to the court below.

Is your business suffering from any of these ailments? If so, better change course before it’s too late:

Exhibit A: Refusal to Acknowledge: At the recent 600 person Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, the elephant in the room was self-publishing and alternate options. While the conference focused heavily on how to sell your book, build your marketing platform, etc, two funny things happened: A breakout on alternate publishing forms erupted in a minor mutiny when attendees demanded to know why the conference was focused on the “song and dance of pitching to big agents and editors” but no one was talking about eBooks and self-publishing as credible options. In this session, a so-called book marketing expert even said: “I don’t believe in social media or authors needing websites. It’s a waste of time.”

Is there a market change or customer need that you are ignoring or refusing to see to protect the status quo?

Exhibit B: Refusal to Adapt: In the large editor panel, I asked what they thought about the long time to market when going the traditional route when I was able to publish with an independent press from contract to book in four months? The response: “Given that reviewers want galleys 3-6 months in advance of the publishing date means you’ll always need a long lead time. Plus it helps with quality control and editing.” Really? The reason we are not going to adapt the model is because the REVIEWERS (Publishers Weekly, et al) won’t adapt their models to current market dynamics? By the time my book’s “galleys” were ready, so was the final book!

Are you allowing the tail to wag the dog when it comes to adapting your manufacturing, marketing or distribution model – instead of adapting to what your customers want and need?

Exhibit C: Refusal to Trust: I had to convince my publisher to post an excerpt on Scribd. She said she’d heard bad things about it and forwarded me an article about an author suing them for copyright infringement. I explained that Scribd itself did not pirate the work; someone else must have posted it and that Scribd is just the channel (like YouTube). I also explained why we should get in front of it and post our excerpt ourselves to control the marketing and message. After all, Chapter 1 is already available on the publisher’s website: What’s to stop someone from stealing it from there? At least on Scribd, people will actually see it who would purchase the book. This fear of piracy and infringement is real, but the upside of promoting the full book is so well worth it.

Are there marketing channels (like social media) or new technologies you are ignoring out of fear, when they could be prime ways to reach your customers?

Exhibit D: Refusal to Coordinate: Because my book is a short run printing (my publisher is not Random House and doesn’t print 50,000 at once) it is listed in a separate “small press” database (DB) on Ingram, one of the distributors in the business. This same DB houses self-published and Print on Demand (POD)  books, and the retail bookstore chains refuse to carry those, mostly because of the lack of return policies and quality concerns. We had to make it very clear to local booksellers that my book is NOT a POD or self-pub and that it’s 100% returnable to convince them to carry a local author. Borders in downtown Seattle agreed and I just did a signing there; Barnes & Noble, however, marked it as POD in their system and the stores are saying they physically can’t order such books through the system and we have to talk to NY. NY has said they will fix the issue, but that the stores are wrong and can order anything they want. I’ve since learned that basically forward-thinking managers can “go rogue” and order the local authors their customers want but it’s not “policy.” We’re stuck in the middle  – trying to give local booksellers great content and signing events to help them boost sales. So now Borders gets me for a signing, while B&N competing down the street can’t get out of their own way. Borders even told me, “People are craving local authors right now – similar to the local food movement!”

Are you not communicating effectively with multiple locations, partners or employees to the point that the only people who lose are your customers? Are your policies getting in the way of you staying competitive or giving your customers what they want?

Why I’m starting to hate Apple

I’ve long admired Apple for its branding prowess, it’s ability to connect with customers, to innovate, to “think different.” But the recent fight they are having with Adobe over Flash on the iPhone and iPod has got me seeing their brand in a whole new light – and not a very flattering one.

Today’s WSJ had an article about Apple winning new ground in their very public war with Adobe about the decision Apple made to not accept Adobe’s Flash programming – the programming many websites already use for video and animation – on its devices.  Apple has shut out Adobe from its own devices to promote its own tools and its “under development” HTML 5. Steve Jobs has lashed out with technical reasons why Flash isn’t good for its own devices, and Adobe retaliated with full page ads trying to get Apple on its side and garner public support.

I admit to not even knowing these technical reasons. I’m more interested in the perception and brand impact. I’ve never seen such brand hypocrisy in blatant black and white in the same article. Out of one side of their mouth, Apple claims it believes in open standards “like HTML 5” (hmmm….interesting, their own product)  and says Flash is proprietary to Adobe. It may well be, but from a customer point of view (and developers are their customers too) Flash is what most folks out there are already using and what most websites and apps already use. Now, Apple is forcing customers back to the drawing board, or worse, forcing them to maintain separate apps and websites for different devices.  The whole point of “open standards” is that apps can be used on any device and if many companies have already invested in using Flash to date, why not just also allow Flash on the Apple devices as people move over to using HTML 5, if it truly is an open standard?

Out of the other side, the article states that Apple wants to protect its competitive advantage (which I totally get and respect) by preventing developers from creating apps for the iPhone or iPad that could be used on other devices. If memory serves, when Microsoft got slammed for bundling their Internet Explorer browser with their operating system, wasn’t this action labeled “monopoly activity” and an anti-competitive practice? One customer in the WSJ article, Venveo, a web-design firm, says it has to build apps and websites for Apple devices separately because it has little choice due to iPhone’s popularity. Sounds like a monopolistic chokehold to me.

When did Apple turn into “the man”? I guess it was inevitable. Smart, friendly and fighting the “big dogs” can only work as a brand as long as you’re the small dog. Then when you get to the other side, you start to act just like the companies you used to condemn because you can see the upside. And other companies are taking their cue: I read yesterday that the new UrbanSpoon dining reservation system that is rolling out into full launch can only work for restaurants on an IPad, not on the restaurant’s existing reservations system.

Again, I don’t claim to understand the technical reasons for these decisions- but I wasn’t born yesterday: I doubt it has nothing to do with market dominance and freezing out the competition just because you can. My main issue is that Apple is doing something that forces customers to react a certain way, gives them more work, more expense and less options – and tarnishes their well-established brand promise in the process.