This is an amazing infographic and has some very interesting pointers:
products that lowered prices, approached their markets in unheard-of ways, even created new markets — and changed the world. See how they did it in this rich infographic, and then let us know of disruptive innovations you’ve encountered. What do you think will be the next disruptive product or service?
Some times to compete, you change the rules of the game or pick a different point of attack. Microsoft did this to Lotus-1-2-3 by bundling a Windows run time in their first version of Excel and played a game and made it impossible for Lotus to catch up. Then they bundled a set of tools (Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation Builder) into one compelling package that was impossible to compete with.
All Microsoft Office copy cats were nowhere near the quality or usefulness of Microsoft Office. They were trying to compete on the same terms as Microsoft Office on the desktop. Google changed the game by doing about 20% of the functionality for Microsoft Office for free and built it as a cloud based app. They are rapidly gaining market share.
Google on the other hand picked a well established need for search and made it infinitely better.
So competition is never direct. It comes from a direction that you do not expect. That is both scary (for the established players) and great (for the disrupters).