Gigaom

Over the past two decades, I’ve built and sold a few companies that have exploited the simple fact that the bigger an industry behemoth grows, the harder it gets for it to serve its customers. At my last company, Intellisync, my teams built products that wireless carriers needed but couldn’t deliver. Today, I run Locaid, a company that simply fills a void between giant carriers and giant enterprise developers. It’s hard enough for a single giant to innovate, so why do they always assume a coalition of giants will fare better? They never do.

Coalitions seldom succeed unless the members are motivated by a supreme crisis. Throughout history, a major threat or act of war was often needed to compel independent and competing parties to join forces for common gain: the United States, NATO, the international ban on whaling. Business can be war too, but the stakes aren’t usually high enough to keep a collective of…

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