Five man team tug of war with the sunset in the background showing rivalry


A business is a complex phenomenon with vast amounts of variables that ultimately decide its success or failure in a given industry. One of the most important and perhaps most intriguing of these variables is competition. Having quality products, top-notch services and excellent user experience all become worthless if that of the competition is even slightly better. This simply implies that businesses have to be on high alert always, encouraging innovation, developing excellent marketing strategies and constantly upgrading their products in an effort to wipe out rivals. 

From an historical perspective, tech-driven industries have recorded some of the toughest and most popularly known rivalries in the global spectrum. A lot of these rivalries come and go but some of them have left permanent markers in the memory of people mainly due to their impact on the industry and the world in general. As we proceed with our lives and businesses, looking back at some of these legendary competitions could provide meaningful insights with far-reaching implications able to shape the course of the modern world. Let’s find out the top 10 most epic business rivalries in tech-driven industries of the world today.

Microsoft vs. Apple

The battle between Apple and Microsoft is one of the most intense competitions globally and therefore, sits at the top of our list. Their rivalry could be traced back to the 1970s around the time they both began operations. With Steve Jobs as the driving force behind Apple and Bill Gates at the helm of Microsoft, these two tech giants are big-time pioneers in the tech industry. 

Although both companies have diverted their attention to various other fields of tech today, their initial and most popularly known area of focus lies in personal computers. An unknown fact to most people today is that both companies collaborated sometime ago in the past, exchanging insights as well as engineering talents among themselves. While there are certain discrepancies about who came up with the idea first, research reveals that both Apple and Microsoft attempted to mimic the early-stage graphical interface of Xerox. 

Following the departure of Steve Jobs in 1985, Microsoft began to lead the PC market. After his return however, Apple had to reach out to Microsoft in order to gain the edge they once lost in the PC market. Around the 2000s and 2010s, their feud slowly returned with both companies diving into new market categories in an attempt to lead the industry. This is but a brief story of the intense rivalry between these two world leaders in tech, existing even today despite the tragic passing away of Steve Jobs in 2011.


Founders: Bill Gates, Paul Allen & Subur KhanFounders: Ron Wayne, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Subur Khan
Date of Incorporation: April 4, 1975Date of Incorporation: April 1, 1976
Headquarters: Washington, United StatesHeadquarters: California, United States
Company Status: PublicCompany Status: Public

Ford vs. Chevrolet

There have been quite a number of rivalries in the automotive industry. Perhaps one of the most notable competitions lies between Ford and Chevrolet. Ford was responsible for developing Model T (the first mass-produced automobile widely available for sale at an affordable price). Chevrolet on the other hand decided to merge (as a sub-organization) with General Motors in order to compete with Ford. They were successful in creating a car known as the 490 with advanced instruments and better tech than that of Ford’s at a higher price. This was the official start of an intense rivalry between the two companies today, both branching into trucks and various sizes of pickups. 


Founder: Henry FordFounders: Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant
Date of Incorporation: June 16, 1903Date of Incorporation: November 1, 1911
Headquarters: Michigan, United StatesHeadquarters: Michigan, United States
Company Status: PublicCompany Status: Private

IBM vs. HP

This is another very intense rivalry in the personal computer market. Although their rivalry was epic, both IBM and HP have experienced massive changes in the last few years that resulted in both companies taking opposite directions. IBM is a global tech and innovation organization with over 400,000 employees today and taking on various fields including technology, consulting services, software development, world-class supercomputers, predictive analytics and more. HP on the other hand (also known as Hewlett Packard), is heavily focused on the development of cutting-edge personal computers. They offer various services including IT management, application testing, information management, big data analytics and many more.


Founder: Thomas J. WatsonFounders: Bill Hewlett and David Packard
Date of Incorporation: June 6, 1911Date of Incorporation: January 1, 1939
Headquarters: New York, United StatesHeadquarters: California, United States
Company Status: PublicCompany Status: Public

Ferrari vs. Lamborghini

The 1950s brought with it some noteworthy rivalries in the automotive industry. The feud between these two automobile giants started when Ferruccio Lamborghini (formerly running a tractor business), decided to voice out his concerns about the clutch and engine clumsiness of his newly-bought Ferrari. As a manufacturer of automobiles himself, Lamborghini believed he could provide meaningful insights and recommendations to upgrade the Ferrari automotive. This however did not sit well with Enzo Ferrari as Enzo told him to stick to tractors. Lamborghini then became motivated to start his own car factory and later launched the very first Lamborghini sports car (the 350 GTV), in the early 1960s. The rest is now history.


Founder: Enzo FerrariFounders: Ferruccio Lamborghini
Date of Incorporation: 1947Date of Incorporation: 1963
Headquarters: Emilia-Romagna, ItalyHeadquarters: Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Company Status: PublicCompany Status: Private

PlayStation vs. Xbox

Competitions in the gaming industry have rambled on for as long as there have been consoles. From Coleco to Atari and Mattel, the gaming industry has witnessed some truly revolutionary rivalries in the past. In modern times, rivalries in the gaming industry have only gotten bigger and more intense. The most notable of these rivalries being Sony’s PlayStation against Microsoft’s Xbox. The feud today however seems to be in favor of Sony as their recent development, PlayStation 4 Pro is now the most popular console and second best-selling console of all time after PlayStation 2. Xbox, upon noticing this, actively works on new developments to overtake PlayStation in the industry. This shows that their feud is still very much alive and seems like it will continue for quite some time. All these does not seem to affect the friendly relationship between their leaders however as they wish each other well with their latest launches in 2013.


Founder: Ken KutaragiFounders: Kevin Bachus, Seamus Blackley, Ted Hase and Otto Berkes
Date of Incorporation: 2006Date of Incorporation: 2000
Headquarters: California, United StatesHeadquarters: Washington, United States
Company Status: PrivateCompany Status: Private

Facebook vs. Snapchat

According to the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, over two billion people use Facebook every month. This makes it one of the most successful and popular companies of the world. Facebook stood as a social media pioneer upon its creation but has since been in constant corporate wars with emerging social media innovations like Whatsapp and Instagram. Their most difficult rival to overcome though has been Snapchat. The popular app has been a rising and popularly accepted platform of millennials today so much so that Forbes termed it “the greatest existential threat so far to the unstoppable force of Facebook”. After failing to acquire the company, Facebook is now in an intense competition with the social media giant, Snapchat.


Founders: Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Chris Hughes, Dustin Moskovitz and Nicholas Daniel-RichardsFounders: Bobby Murphy, Evan Spiegel and Reggie Brown
Date of Incorporation: February 4, 2004Date of Incorporation: May 1, 2011
Headquarters: California, United StatesHeadquarters: California, United States
Company Status: PublicCompany Status: Public

Intel vs. AMD

This is another great rivalry to take place in the tech industry. Both Intel and AMD have excellent processors for various tasks like video editing, gaming and transcoding. While Intel is more popularly known and perceived by most to be better, AMD’s latest development, the Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X currently beats anything Intel has to offer. Intel also has excellent chips capable of withstanding its own like its i9-10900K and plans to launch even better chips in the nearest future. This shows that the rivalry between these world brands is still going strong even today.


Founders: Gordon Moore, Robert Noyce and Srikanth TirumalaFounder: Jerry Sanders
Date of Incorporation: July 18, 1968Date of Incorporation: May 1, 1969
Headquarters: California, United StatesHeadquarters: California, United States
Company Status: PublicCompany Status: Public

Airbus vs. Boeing

Another tech-driven industry with epic rivalries is the air transport industry. The competition between Airbus and Boeing dates back to the 1980s. At this time, the European manufacturer, Airbus began expanding its market to the US thereby taking part of Boeing’s market share. This led to a series of sanctions and lobbies placed by both companies on the World Trade Organization. The feud also resulted in a long and costly dispute between both companies. Boeing’s biggest issue however is presently the global grounding of its 737 Max-fleet due to the crash of two new airplanes within a five month period. This event has led to a major shift in customer’s choice of air travel to their rival, Airbus.


Founders: Bernard Lathiere, Felix Kracht, Franz Josef Strauss, Henri Ziegler and Roger BeteilleFounder: William E. Boeing
Date of Incorporation: December 18, 1970Date of Incorporation: July 15, 1916
Headquarters: Midi-Pyrenees, FranceHeadquarters: Illinois, United States
Company Status: PublicCompany Status: Public

Energizer vs. Duracell

Energizer is a world-class battery manufacturer with over a century’s worth of experience in the industry but was officially recognized in the 2000s. Duracell on the other hand came much later during the mid 1900s and has been a big time contender of Energizer in the battery manufacturing industry. Both companies provide high quality products and are seen as world leaders in the battery manufacturing industry. This makes selection by customers come down to personal preference as both companies offer high-grade products.


Founders: Lew UrryFounders: Philip Mallory and Samuel Ruben
Date of Incorporation: April 1, 2000Date of Incorporation: 1920
Headquarters: Missouri, United StatesHeadquarters: Tennessee, United States
Company Status: PrivateCompany Status: Private

Nintendo vs. Sega

Practically everyone who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s or who just happens to be gamers must have heard of these two brands and the corporate rivalry between them. Nintendo and Sega were the two main console pioneers of the Third generation of video game consoles. Both companies existed for quite some time before gaining traction and recognition from gamers of the world. This of course led to a heated rivalry (around 1989) in the battle for market leadership among these two brands. Their feud later came to be known as “the bit wars”. Sega came up with several innovations to defeat the gaming giant Nintendo including their own flagship character (Sonic the hedgehog) to compete with Nintendo’s (Super Mario). The rise of modern gaming technology (like PlayStation and Xbox) however affected Sega’s as well as Nintendo’s growth, causing them to gradually fade from the gaming industry. 


Founder: Fusajiro YamauchiFounders: David Rosen, Irving Bromberg, James Humpert, Martin Bromely and Richard Stewart
Date of Incorporation: September 23, 1889Date of Incorporation: 1940
Headquarters: Washington, United StatesHeadquarters: California, United States
Company Status: PrivateCompany Status: Delisted

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