I think the essence of business is to provide products/services to satisfy the needs of the market/mass people. Existing status quo always deter many people from even trying. So the entrepreneurs have to be bold, adventurous and more importantly, resourceful to come up with ideas/method to tackle problems.
To attain lucrative profits by creating business in market place, I am not talking about opening single moat and brick coffee shops or restaurant here. As thought deep and alluded in previous blog before, I resonate with Peter Thiel, the great business is not to win out of competition, but no competition, to reach a dominant state of value generation.
That requires a lot of brain work.
In this rapidly changing world brought about by fast-pacing IT technology, opportunities are abundant.
Heroically, there are a few giant vanguards, illustrating three different models an existing business realm can be completely transformed. One is Apple, the other is Google and the third is Virtual Shopping led by Amazon, Uber, Alibaba, Meituan etc.
Apple’s greatness, or Steve Jobs’ greatness is not at the execution level, but his insight or vision. He is the first person to tell the whole population on earth what kind of phone they would almost all full-heatedly love. Followers like Samsung or Huawei may be able to chisel some market share away, but the founder – Steve Jobs is forever respected and admired.
Google’s greatness is, sadly, accompanied or epitomized by the demise of Yahoo. Certainly, the core reason Google stand out and domineer in searching area is because of it’s non-questionable state-of-art algorithm invented by two founders, from my point of view, it’s not less important that Sergy and Larry are business-smart enough to figure out a “target advertising” model that nobody else has even come up with. Facebook copied it to monetize their social media platform. Unfortunately, it can only take smaller share from Google.
Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg now is lamenting its lack of creativity and openly stated his intention to emulate Chines WeChat app. (reference this link for details) because WeChat has a robust lineup of monitization channels that they even don’t desire to tap “advertising”, which the users usually loath, for revenue generation.
That’s a segway to my third point – virtual shopping led by Amazon, Uber, Alibaba, Meituan, and WeChat’s partial business too. What they do, at the core, is to disrupt existing food-chain in the consumer space entirely by digital integration, to get rid of low-efficient middle layers, streamline the chain from production to end-users seamlessly and accurately. The power is unleased and incrementally growing up, driving out traditional retail giants. Department store became dinasaurs nowadays while they were so in vogue just about 50 years ago.
Uber started by disrupting traditional taxi business, Airbnb hotel business, WeChat in China took over telecommunication business without even attempts to charge its users. But for sure, their ambition won’t stop at just providing taxi, rooms, or social connections, once they obtain the center-position as host house for billions of users, they can integrate any business if they are regulatory allowed. Their ability to coordinate, organize and allocate resources is incredibly high!
Led by the consumer sector, disruptions and innovations should, I hope, occur on all others including Energy, Utility, Education, Industrial, Healthcare and Finance. Especially on Healthcare and Finance, pains and grunts are piling up, however, Not much seismic innovation are taking place. Removing overly strict regulatory restriction, i.e. protection of existing beneficiaries is badly needed.