Snap's former chief strategy officer believes that while companies should be wary of their competitors, they must not forget to focus on their customers.
"I think that so many companies always forget who their customers are," Imran Khan told CNBC's Deirdre Bosa during a fireside chat at the East Tech West conference held in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China. "Once you identify who your customers are, you have to be maniacally focused on serving that customers the best."
Khan recently left Snap to start a new e-commerce business that will put him in direct competition with tech juggernaut Amazon, which is predicted to take nearly half of the U.S. online retail market by year's end.
"Big is not always better," he said. "If you look at the history of innovation, if big was always better, new companies would never come up."
Khan explained that despite Amazon's massive presence, the U.S. e-commerce market, as a percentage of total retail sales, was still small. That left enough room for smaller companies to innovate and take some market share.
"I think you should always be very fearful of your competition but you shouldn't let fear drive it," he said when asked if he was worried about Amazon.