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  • Writer's pictureDoug Howarth

Ants, Airbus, And Avoidance

Updated: Jan 27

Hit 'em where they ain't. Wee Willie Keeler

I finished a run the other day and stretched at the trail's end. I looked down, and an ant caught my eye. Starting from position A1, it reached A2 and seemed to be going in a circle for a moment. But then, as its path widened to A3, A4, and A5, I realized it was doing reconnaissance! I raced home and found out that ants do that to "avoid hostile conspecific neighbours," when considering where to set up camp, they use "a weighted additive strategy, the most comprehensive of consumer evaluations, to choose nests with the best combination of attributes."*

People, of course, do the same thing.

In B, during 2009-2018, the business jet market had a lot of competitors offering various cabin and price combinations. Noticeably, though, there were a few prominent gaps in the market, akin to how the ants saw regions away from their neighbors. In Q1 of 2019, Airbus launched its A220-100 business jet in the most prominent open region (C). Along with the base airliner from which it came, this vehicle has several hundred orders, helping ensure its long-term viability.

When considering where to place your next product, work to avoid local opposition.


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