Can Snapchat Survive If Facebook Copies All Its Best Features?

by MR Magazine Staff

To be successful, a company needs to provide something customers want. It must be able to do so for less than they’re willing to pay. And there must be some reason why competitors can’t just copy it when it succeeds. In management terms, it needs a value proposition, a business model, and a strategy. Snap is doing well on the first two. It has a product that lots of people like, and there’s at least the prospect of Snap eventually becoming very profitable, its first earnings report notwithstanding. But it’s struggling with the third (strategy) because Instagram has been copying its most popular features. When Snap CEO Evan Spiegel was asked about Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, on Snap’s first earnings call, he quipped: “Just because Yahoo has a search box, it doesn’t mean they’re Google.” That’s true, but it doesn’t necessarily imply what Spiegel needs it to. In fact, his response reflects a decades-old debate over what strategy is, one that’s being relitigated in the digital age. Read more at Harvard Business Review.