These days, the mandate to go ahead and cannibalize comes from the top, as a way to preempt competitors from stealing sales away.
- John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, says yes: "In technology, either you cannibalize yourself or someone else is going to do it." So eBay made changes, including pushing into mobile marketing for autos, among other big-ticket items. Today, eBay says it sells 8,000 cars a week via its mobile app. Ka-ching.
- Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says yes: "I see cannibalization as a huge opportunity for us." Witness the iPad Mini, which is sure to cannibalize some of the iPad's sales. But if the Mini prevents rivals from getting Apple's customers, it's worthwhile to accept lower revenue/margins rather than lose the entire sale. Let's see how Apple reacts to Samsung's strong competition on the smartphone side.