If you consult a thesaurus for words to describe "asymmetry," you will find the following: "Lack of smoothness or regularity: crookedness, inequality, irregularity, jaggedness, roughness, unevenness."
For startup and emerging independent software vendors (ISVs) seeking to win on the 21st century software market landscape, it is such asymmetry or jaggedness that must increasingly become the starting point for marketing strategy development.
Here are 10 manifestations of this market asymmetry that should be on the radar of all software marketers seeking to effectively compete in the 21st century software industry.
1. The 21st century software industry is a superpower-dominated market landscape
Today's software marketers must plan for the permanent reality of high concentrations of cross-category market power in the hands of a select contingent of market superpowers.
Microsoft, the superpower poster child, spans desktop, server, Web portal, handheld, gaming, security, and other formerly standalone categories. Oracle spans multiple categories, from database and application server infrastructure to dozens of enterprise applications. eBay, the superpower of Web commerce, spans auctions, online retailing, payments, VOIP, and more.
This phenomenon of cross-category market power will only intensify.
2. Web-based "Automatic Update" product models optimize customer lock-in
Joseph E. Bentzel is the author of the new book, Asymmetric Marketing, Tossing the 'Chasm' in the Age of the Software Superpowers. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1419649809/ He is a marketing strategy consultant and the founder of Asymmetri Incorporated. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.