I’ve spent my career competing against companies 10 to 1000 times bigger than mine. It’s an uphill battle, but here are five rules I’ve developed that will maximize your success against the giants in your industry.

Split pins – The “bowling alley” model encourages startups to use one market to knock down the next. Instead of skipping pins, split ‘em. You learn more about your customers’ unique needs, which in turn allows to you to serve them better.

Collaborate – Many times staff meetings devolve to finger-pointing contests. When you’re competing against giants, you need the extra advantage that comes from brilliant people – collaborating – to solve problems.

Focus – The easiest way to be bigger than your competitor is to focus. It’s hard, because there’s always the distraction of opportunities you’re not pursuing. Then be the best at it. Through your focus be the best in solving customer problems better than anyone else in your market within your focus area.

Hire stars – Giant-fighting startups are not places for the weak or squeamish. They’re also lousy places to learn on the job. That’s why you need to build an A-team and be sure the people on it are scaling with the company.