Gorillas and minnows?

I occasionally dip into ‘Microscope’ IT magazine. This week’s edition has a piece about Salesforce.com and how its hosted CRM solution could be squeezed by the software "mammoths". The latter (including Oracle, Sage, Microsoft and SAP) are incentivising their resellers with bounties to take SME customers away from Salesforce.com – such a strategy appears to recognise that they cannot compete against Salesforce.com’s direct marketing.

By the end of the article, however, the ‘mammoths’ had been transformed; a CRM reseller described the market: "Salesforce.com is a new entrant and is a minnow in a market of gorillas. It will ultimately fail." As a metaphor, I am not sure this exactly persuades me. I am not sure you often find gorillas in water; even if you did, I don’t think they would have the speed or agility to crush a minnow (and, as we all know, mammoths became extinct thousands of years ago!).

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2005/10/gorillas_and_mi/