Competition in Business and Everyday Life
Competition according to Wikipedia is defined as “Competition arises whenever at least two parties strive for a goal which cannot be shared: where one’s gain is the other’s loss.” Competition is all around us here in the United States. Competition is such an important skill, without competition, there would be no goal to do better and want to be the best. Competition is one of the top leading factors of innovation of business and technology. But, the Author and lecturer Alfie Kohn contend that “competition by its very nature is always unhealthy.” He goes on to say that competition is worse than what it seems and isn’t beneficial. Though some may argue that competition is always unhealthy, the nature of competition forms positive relationships and promotes innovation.
Competition, in the end, can promote positive relationships. For example, Venus and Serena Williams are both are two professional American tennis players: “Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam title winner, and Serena Williams, twenty-three-time Grand Slam title winner”,Venus and Serena Williams are sisters but they sometimes have to compete against each other in tennis matches. They both agree that it’s fun to go against each other and they root for one another as they play. In a way, this helps build their relationship because it pushes them to do better each time but still creates that positive relationship with them. Also, this relationship is similar to Apple and Samsung. They are constantly competing with each other mostly in the cellphone industry. Now, it may seem like the two companies are complete enemies they actually have built more of a stable relationship. According to gadgetsnow.com,“ Apple and Samsung have a very good relationship”, says Young Park, a technology analyst for Woori Investment and Securities. “Samsung is both a provider and a competitor to apple. But they have very different strategies. Apple is aiming for the high-end market, whereas Samsung is geared more towards the mass market.” So though they are in the constant competition they have to rely on one another and work together which builds the relationship.
Competition can also promote innovation. Innovation is defined as is ‘a new idea, creative thoughts, new imaginations in the form of device or method’. “Innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs” according to Wikipedia. Innovation plays a key role in competition because it’s apart of the way companies aim to do better, its part of their drivenness to improve. .“In open and competitive markets, firms are driven to adopt more efficient production processes, and to offer new and improved products and services to customers,” says John Pecman, the Commissioner of Competition at the Workshop on Emerging Competition Issues. The competition between companies will sometimes make companies want to do things to increase customer satisfaction. This is Positive innovation and it will add more value to the product and even the company for the competitive advantage. Majority of the time if two businesses are competing against one another, it means that they are striving to beat the other in any way possible. They want to be better than the other company. In an article called “ Does Competition Drive Innovation”, it states, “A survey by PwC said that 80% of CEOs believed innovation drives efficiencies and leads to a competitive advantage.” Competition seems to be a key driver for innovation.
However, competition can be seen as bad because to some because although it has it’s positive ways, people can turn competition negative and try to harm others. A prime example would be the Tonya Harding story. According to biography.com “In 1991, Tonya Harding won her first national skating title and was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in the competition. In 1994, her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly hired a hitman to assault skater Nancy Kerrigan which was her competition for the meet at the Olympic trials.”. Tonya and her husbands need to win turned ugly and got her husband in jail. Another case where competition can be negative would be most seen in a home. Children typically fight for attention from parents. Sometimes parents can seem to favor one child over the other and the children sometimes start to resent one another because of jealousy. Which is bad because they shouldn’t have to feel like one parent loves the other kid more. Now, this form of competition is what Alfie Kohn sees. Even though competition can be destructive it is not always this way. As states before it can be very beneficial and most of the time is.
In conclusion, competition can be seen as positive or negative because of some reasons listed above, but in the end, though competition can have negative aspects, the nature of competition can form positive relationships and promotes innovation in businesses and even technology. Competition is what pushes most of us to do better and be better, however, that can appear as not the right way to want to be better but it is true. Without competition society would be very different than how it is today, it is one of the most vital skills that we have adopted.
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