In the fight between the big four companies in the tech world (Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft), we are seeing the emergence of different styles. A new generation of companies is now looking to emulate these models at a much smaller level, breaking our industry down around four archetypes: the refiner, the tinkerer, the pusher, and the anchor-weight.
- The attacher is generally a company with a successful product. The company then tries to attach everything it does to that product, eventually losing out as the market evolves.
- The pusher finds the edge, goes beyond it and, when the inevitable push-back happens, pulls back a little. Having pushed beyond the edge, it starts the cycle again.
- The tinkerer creates products through extensive user testing and trust the data religiously, tinkering with the product based on what the data says.
- The refiner looks at a product category and offers an improved product by cutting back instead of adding.
Each of these models provides value to the market but ultimately, the best companies might be the ones that are willing to take on all of those features depending on time and context. In the following entries, I will go into details as to each of those models, providing example of leaders and startups that follow them.