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168 Career Considerations for Technology / Startup Professionals, Category Designers & Pirates

Monday 24th June 2024
LOM_Episodes-168 Career Considerations

If you are in tech, a Silicon Valley type, in a startup, or you’re a category designer working in that world, this podcast is for you. Because today, we’re going to talk about career considerations for all of you. Whether you are planning to climb the corporate ladder or break away from it, we hope that his episode can help you figure things out.

Speaking of making a difference, my friends at Acceleration Economy are hosting a legendary virtual event called the Digital CIO Summit. It is not a stretch to say that some of the smartest people in the technology industry are going to be participating. And when some of the big thinkers in the tech world are willing to share their thinking, it is an incredible opportunity that you don’t want to miss. If you are interested, register today at

Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.

How Category King Economics Work

The first thing that is important to talk about is how Category King Economics work, and what happens to its dynamics in downtimes.

When a new category emerges from a company or a small startup and gains traction, it attracts competition and investment. Eventually, a category king or queen will emerge from said companies and will have the bulk of the market at its grasp – almost two-thirds of the market or so.

As we have previously discussed in past episodes and in our book Play Bigger, these categories are usually developed during downtimes, or times of slower to no growth. This is because costumers will usually flock to the current category king or queen of their field, leaving number two and below competing for small portions.

Rather than compete for said small portion, these companies are now incentivized to create new categories themselves, one where they can thrive and dominate. Otherwise, their company is in for a slump and steady decrease in profits and market share.

Are you in a Category Battle?

So as a company, it is important to know how your product or services rank in their perspective category. If you’re the category king or head-to-head with the current one, that’s great. If not and you are steadily in number 2 or lower, it might be time to get the whiteboards out.

Why? Because it means that you are directly competing with pretty much the same product, with them having the superior specifications than yours. Hence, why customers and the bulk of the market choose them as the Category King rather than your company.

You are essentially fighting a losing battle at that point, and bleeding money as a result.

Time for Plan B

Now that you are aware of how companies do battle for the top spot in a category, let’s talk about you. If you find yourself in a company that is consistently placing 2nd or in the market, it may be time to consider some career moves.

The most obvious one is moving to the category king, and see what they are doing right over there. Another option is to go solo – a lot of solopreneurs tend to break out in these downtimes, either starting from a side hustle and developing it to a career, or working with other entrepreneurs and diving into a new startup with fresh ideas.

Take stock of what you have to offer, whether it be intellectual capital or experience, and locate a way to leverage it for your own benefit, whatever course of action you are considering taking. Also, look for a business or a circumstance that will allow you to reap the greatest benefits from the qualities you possess.

To hear more on Career Considerations for Category Designers, download and listen to this episode.


Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

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We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and subscribe on iTunes!