It used to be that Smalltalk’s competition came from Java and Ruby. Java, because it took away Smalltalk’s future by being free and freely available from Sun Microsystems. And Ruby, because it borrowed some of Smalltalk’s qualities while still remaining a file-based language (arguably, Ruby is missing Smalltalk’s best feature of live coding and debugging) and being easy to learn. Moreover, were it not for Ruby on Rails, Ruby probably wouldn’t have achieved the success it enjoys today.
[Have a look at how elegant Pharo code can be here. It’s unbelievable!]
The unique combination of all these things creates a synergy not seen anywhere else in the IT world. This synergy greatly amplifies productivity  and makes programming much more intuitive.