Better just wait

You are the owner of a highly successful and influential business

What your company is best known for is providing a much needed service to the public

Almost everybody has used this service at least once in their lives

Some use it many times a year

Some would say their lives depend on it

Your continued success is essentially guaranteed because nobody has been able to provide the same service

It’s a complicated, R&D-intensive, and highly accurate service

Only you have been able to perfect it

You’re always at the cutting-edge due to the work of the research universities that provide supporting research

You have patented the hell out of everything

 

But recently, you’ve heard word of a startup that claims to be able to provide the same service at a fraction of the price

Their marketing attributes the high price of the service your company provides to a lack of competition and complacency – that is, you’re not making an effort to simplify and reduce prices because you don’t have to

Their mission is to make the service accessible and affordable to everyone through improved technology, simplified processes, and cutting edge research

Their customer base is growing, they have made strategic partnerships to grow, they have a great deal of support from the community

Investors have taken note of the tremendous market opportunity. The company now doesn’t even have to pitch VCs – they came knocking

Their media presence is picking up and more and more people are jumping on their service because of it

Wall Street is constantly asking when the company will IPO so investors can get in on the action

Experts are estimating that this company will truly transform the industry, saving hundreds of billions of dollars over ten years

Here’s the problem:

Your company is being disrupted

Those savings are coming out of your pocket

Your customers are going to save hundreds of billions of dollars over ten years

Shit. You need to do something about this

You could try to compete on price until they go out of business. You would only have to price-match in the areas they currently have market share

No – too obvious that you’re trying to bankrupt them, just like how the Robber Barons would undercut prices when competition appeared and severely overcharge when they had a monopoly. There are rules against that

You could purchase the company and redefine their business plan

Not a bad idea. A few billion dollars today to keep status quo of several hundreds coming in for ten years is well worth it

You draft a letter to the company’s owner and shoot it off, hoping for an excited response

 

Negative. The company does not want to sacrifice autonomy. A buyout from the disrupted company would create serious conflicts of interest

Plus, it must be built without rushing so it does not scale incorrectly and fall apart

The technology still has a long, long way to go

To them, slow and steady wins the race

Dang, you can’t buy it. Throwing money at this problem isn’t going to make it go away

What should you do? If this gets as big as expected, it will mean the end for you

Your finance advisors have informed you that cutting expenses and optimizing processes in order to compete on price will take years, but it may not be enough at the end of the day

What about developing the same technology?

Engineering says “it can be done, but we have to start from scratch. It’s fundamentally different from our service. Their service was designed with cost savings and efficiency as a top priority

“They are also 7-10 R&D years ahead of us. We could probably accomplish the same in three or four as we can allocate more resources to it, depending on if we can replicate their IP”

Three years is too long. At the rate their service is growing, you’re done no matter what you try to do

You rack your brain every day and call upon your brain trust often, trying to come up with a viable plan

Everybody is covering them and people are starting to take notice

The question on Wall Street’s mind: how are the current industry giants going to react? Could this be the end for them? Time to sell?

Could this be the end for you?

What would you do?

One early morning after a night of no sleep, you get a phone call from one of your board members

Good fucking morning Ron

“We’ve found a solution. Don’t worry about anything”

What do you mean?

“They’re not for real. I’ll explain everything later. Turn on the TV”

You flip to the national news station

A big article was just published calling into question the accuracy of your competitor’s service

It’s blowing up on every channel

Industry experts are speaking up and voicing their concerns that the startup has been publishing fraudulent statistics to sell their service and have made false, baseless claims

Apparently, they have been cheating, not going through the proper channels, telling lies

Expert opinion is that it’s really just too good to be true – it’s impossible to do what they’re doing the way they’re doing it at such a low cost

As the months go by, they keep getting slammed. Hundreds of articles are published that outline their wrongdoings

Negative sentiment soars

Eventually, nobody takes them seriously

They are forced by regulation to change the service in a way that removes their competitive advantage

They’ve become a huge laughing stock

Of course, the company doesn’t give up just like that. It responds to all the negative sentiment that it’s getting, welcoming the comparison of competing services

But nothing helps. For every rebuttal, a new expert comes forward explaining why there’s nothing there

Finally, their strategic alliances is cut short, and they cannot make sales because of it

Holy hell!

All this time you thought that you were done for, but they were just a ticking time bomb all along! It’s like that shitty movie with Tom Cruise where the aliens all die from bacterial infection after some time

All you had to do was wait!

 

But you knew all along in your mind that it couldn’t be done so inexpensively and quickly

You’ve been in this business too long – you know better

You knew it must have been a hoax all along

It seems that your problem has been solved, and you didn’t even have to do anything

After the whole thing settles down, you have a board celebration

You chat with Ron again about the morning he called

I couldn’t believe it myself. All this time we thought we were done for, when all along they were just a busted unicorn

Haha, yea buddy it feels great

Too bad for them though. If what they claimed was true, it would have really saved people a lot of money

Yea, the wrong people though. I’d probably join their board instead

Lol, fuck you Ron

Hahaha, I did the calculation. This board is better. Makes more. It made more sense to shut them down instead

You bastard. Wait, what?

Hm?

What do you mean?

What?

What do you mean shut down? They fucked up

Do you seriously think they brought themselves down just like that? 

Yes? The news was all over it

You think all that messaging happened on its own? You give them too much credit

What are you talking about? Nothing we came up with had a chance, it would have taken years. It was just a matter of time before we would have been fucked

Jesus, I thought you knew. I thought someone would have told you by now, or you would have put the pieces together…

Anyway, you’re welcome

Thanks…

You got it buddy. Catch you later.

  • Eliminating the competition solves many business problems

 

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