Thursday, April 26, 2007

Eating Oracle's Dessert

I was reading the article titled, MySQL hits $50 million revenue, plans IPO on news.com.com.com.com and I came across this excellent bit (emphasis mine):
While MySQL was borne [sic] of the Web, it's posing an increasing threat to existing database powers. In competitive bids, MySQL most often goes up against Oracle and Microsoft, Mickos said. But the company isn't trying to directly attack Oracle's core business; instead, it's angling to head the rival off in growth markets.

"We're not trying to eat Oracle's lunch. We're trying to eat their dessert," Mickos said. "We love to compete with them and win customers from them. At the same time, we don't want to fall into this David-vs.-Goliath strategy where everyone says 'Go, MySQL, go! Go kill Oracle!' There's an old Chinese (proverb): if you focus on one competitor, ultimately you become like them, and we don't want to do that."
I think it's an interesting metaphor; if you're attempting to head off a competitor's growth by snagging new markets from them, that's called "eating their dessert."

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