We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Co-Opetition?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The term, co-opetition (coopetition) is a combination of the words cooperation and competition. It is the concept that competing businesses sometimes benefit by cooperating so that each gains greater capacity to compete in the market. Often, this idea is used in technological fields, where shared information can improve products and provide some economic and competitive benefit to all sharers. This stands in opposition to business practices where all information and technology is closely guarded and exclusive and where competition in the market becomes a zero sum game. Instead, co-opetition, which might also be called strategic partnering, offers the opportunity for competing companies to create win-win scenarios that increase survival, profitability, and competitive edge.

Co-opetition has been used as a business and economic term since the early 20th century, but the name gained most popular usage with the 1990s book, Co-opetition, written by Adam Brandenburger of the Harvard Business School and Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. The book relies on game theory and a number of examples to make the argument that businesses in direct competition may benefit from shared information or partnering on some issues. This doesn’t mean businesses give up competing with each other, but they help each other become stronger so that each gains equal competitiveness and produces better products or services.

An example of this has been ongoing engagements between Apple® and Microsoft®. Though these companies have a legendary rivalry with each other, they both create some software for each other. An Apple® user can choose to use Microsoft Word® on his computer. A Microsoft operating system has access to iTunes®. Similarly, Apple® now uses Intel® microprocessors in many of its computers, making it a faster computer that competes with numerous PCs better.

The goal of co-opetition is never to decrease competition. Rather, it magnifies it because companies use shared information or access to make their products and services more attractive. When businesses choose these opportunities to help each other, they support each other’s existence. Instead of creating winners and losers, the goal is to create higher profits and lifetime competitors. Cooperation and competition combined are posited to be much more positive for all involved.

On a micro scale, this concept is sometimes used in school settings. Students may be asked to work together, but each student gets an individual grade, which is, essentially, competition. To best benefit, two students would want to work closely together, each contributing his or her best work to a project. When successful, both students can walk away with a good grade. If there is only competition, both students can end up losers. In co-opetition, the desire to compete fuels the spirit of cooperation.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.