Growing Faster than the Market – Part 9 – What the !@#$ Does Market Do?

One of the phrases that all marketing executives aspire to use is — “We’re growing faster than the market!”

What is ironic is that in the ’90’s this phrase foreshadowed good things and in the ’00’s this phrase foreshadows disaster.

The 90’s

In the ’90’s this phrase was used often, and surprisingly, it was reasonably accurate. For example, companies that sold SerDes chips and successfully added Framers to their product lines resulted in 2 products that tracked the market. Thus the “product family revenues” would grow faster than the market. If the company could continue to win more content with each generation of chips this would be sustainable.

The 00’s

In the ’00’s this phrase is not used often, but when it is, the situation is often “darkly comic”. The last time I heard it was to describe how a product family could grow in a declining market.

The story goes like this, “The customers have very few resources allocated to their next generation programs, they now see the light of ASSP’s, they know that we’re the best choice, they’re go gonna go exclusively with ASSP’s this time! (ASICs are out) The coolest part is that even though the market is shrinking our %share of the box is growing faster and will offset the end market decline”.

The “darkly comic” part is that all of these “next gen” programs will be cancelled, or delayed to death.