Fine. Life sucks and then you die. Get over it. Be happy. Do your work. Any executive can blame a bad market environment for poor performance. Leaders don’t. Words are nice. Action is better. Either achieve or sit on the sidelines. The field of competitive battle is no place to just wait. Target charged forward.…

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In the past six months, both AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) have altered their mobile data service price structures.  First, they added a metered fee based on the megabytes of traffic.  Now, Verizon is considering a price structure based on the speed of traffic provided.  With all these new forms of charges, some have feared customer backlash:  defection, brand betrayal, and a public relations nightmare.  Yet they needn’t worry much. Both these titans are in well traversed territory.

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In my research, what I learned was that despite the fact that most companies are committed to the concept of differentiation, at any given moment they are also intensely aware of what their competitors are doing, and it is this competitive vigilance that ultimately pushed them down a path of conformity.” Youngme Moon, HBS Professor and author of “Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd”

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Are you ready for the new paradigms? Do you have a Kindle or iPad for reading books? Do you read your daily newspaper on-line? What kind of home entertainment system do you have connected to your High Definition TV that will allow you to see movies, previously available only at the video store or from a vending machine? What must a successful company do to survive and thrive in this environment?.

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In the last weeks of March 2010, just before the media hoopla hit a crescendo on the release of the first Apple iPad, Sony took a shot to establish a more tenable position within the e-Reader market by dropping the price on the Sony Pocket Reader to $169. Is this the beginning of a standards war or a last ditch attempt to move units before Sony finds itself left in the wake of the Apple iPad?

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