During business school (MBA) studies students are often assigned to read a book by a German General, Von Clausewitz. In his book he talked about waging war (real war) and one of his major points is that everything in war is reciprocal.

That is, according to von Clausewitz, what is good for me must be bad for my competitors, what's bad for me must be good for my competitors, and vice versa.

For years this is exactly how many business people have been taught and how they have conducted themselves.

Take, for instance, Wallgreens and CVS. Under the Clausewitz principle of reciprocity if CVS opens a store from which it might benefit by gaining market share Walgreen's must counter by opening their own store in close vicinity! That's why one often sees both very close to each other.

One of the things that Michael Porter discusses in his video (see this lesson's assignment) is the concept that perhaps competition is not always a reciprocal affair. Porter posits that there may be the opportunity for entities within the five forces, or even outright competitors, to collaborate and grow the market.

So... for this weeks discussion, let's identify industries that exhibit this type of "collaborative competition", then identify an industry that perhaps does not and outline how this new approach might be done, and how it could benefit all competitors.