Do NOT cancel. Act differently
Originally published on Medium on March 15, 2020.
The story of challenging business models.
Another airline calling off all flights starting next morning. Your first thought “not again, another story on the virus”. Not really. Or at all. Numerous airlines went bust lately, due to not being able to keep up with competition or price drop. And they showed they do not care much about passengers (or employees), making them find out about the fact from news.
This is only one example of what happens when the waters are too crowded and you are a bad swimmer in blue ocean (read below if you are not familiar with the term), or when the competition is too high.
Same applies for many other industries, where the bubble is still growing, or has reached its peak in some territories or sub-sectors. Hotels and other short-term accommodation (think of Airbnb and similar offerings), entertainment business with its many show promoters (been there!) and festivals (done that!), writers and bookstores (thanks God people still love reading books!), technology and start-up festivals, coffee shops (think of Prets and Costas of London and Starbucks of the U.S.), craft burger houses, old and new fashion brands, even Ubers (the article in the link is definitely missing Bolt — 3rd fastest growing company in Europe by Financial Times) of the world — think of many over-funded people and food delivery platforms; digital agencies offering work with most EFFECTIVE influencers or create BEST creatives.
They all struggle. Or will. Or go bust overnight. At least we will think so even if that was a long-term process. Not only for the examples mentioned above. And that is Great! Except cases when us, customers, have to save them with our taxpayer money (think BANKS some 10+ years ago and national airlines this time most likely). Here is the list https://projects.propublica.org/bailout/list of bailouts in the U.S. alone.
Why companies dying is something great?
When time comes, everyone and everything dies. And gives place for something new. Think of transport industry. From horses to flying drones and Eelon Musk’s another well-funded venture — underground manufacturing The Boring Company. From carriages and taxi firms to Uber and Bolt, and e-scooters. From saving for a car to getting a loan, to full service long-term rental, to short-term car-sharing apps (as CityBee in the Baltics), with related, new services as short-term car sharing insurance or short-term vehicle fleet management as FleetSimplify from Kenya.
None of these examples involve making an existing product more effective. Most often, it means creating something totally new, combining something (see silly but funny and smart video below), or exchanging and old product with totally new one.
Not making cars consume less gas or gas stations charging you for something extra, because taxes were increased.
Don’t be lazy
So where am I pointing? To not being lazy. To not ground not doing something or doing something wrong with an overall state of economic, health, or political situation. Be accountable for yourself.
I encourage not to stop innovating, and not to cancel everything, instead acting differently. Think of what you have and what you can do with that, not trying to stick to what and how you did before. Also to why something new might not work out. We are more than ever ready for new business models, new applications of inventions, and new solutions to new and old problems.
Make real solutions
I encourage everyone reading this to comment below and discuss, to reach out to companies, to set up your own company as an alternate to an existing, old-fashioned solution provider, to reach out to company executives and innovation centers, to speak out your idea or business model, or the real world solutions to something which is broken for years in your opinion. We do not need another smart mission statement of helping people do more effective this or ease their lives because of that. Let’s share and develop real solutions, ideas, and business models.
An example. Prepared food. First came bars, and chefs working at their bosses home. Then restaurants appeared. And street food. Some take-aways. Restaurant deliveries. Delivery services with own couriers. Delivery platforms. Ghost kitchens. Still people do everything, from making food to delivering it. There are companies in robotics out there trying to build delivery drones. From Amazon (read below) to fresh new start-up, Flivery, from Alchemist accelerator’s latest class, to mention some. Seems logic, but what if there is some other way of delivering? Or with no need to deliver at all? Just one direction of tons of potential.
What is the worst word I have learned while doing business and looking for synergies for possible partnerships?
Used by lazy or non-creative people often, or ones with no real interest, to ask another party to think if there is anything they could do with what yo have. I have done that, too, as it seemed a cool word to use because everyone did.
It is like, if you are a guy catching a random girl and asking her — hey, would you like kids with me or grab a beer or something? If not, that is fine, I will ask next one anyways.
Do not ask for synergies — make them, do not be a parasite (yes, Koreans made one crazy movie! https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6751668/) trying suck on to someone — feed someone! Be a maker, be a doer, be a make-it-happen’er.
P.S. For those willing to act against the virus and similar situations in future, there are numerous challenges already launched, in support to innovation, European EIC accelerator’s 164M EUR fund or the fresh new 125M USD medicine accelerator by Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard (read below).
Gates Foundation, Wellcome, Mastercard Launch $125M Coronavirus AcceleratorThe Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said today it is partnering with Wellcome and Mastercard to commit $125 million in…www.genengnews.com