LET GO AT THE TOP

Send the network out.

There is only one sound strategy for crossing the valley: Don’t go alone. Established firms are now doing what they should be doing: weaving dozens, if not hundreds, of alliances and partnerships; seeking out as many networks of affiliation and common cause as possible, sharing the risk by making a web. A motley caravan of firms can cross a suboptimal stretch with hope. Banding together buys their networks several things. First, it allows knowledge about the terrain to be shared. Some firm riding point might discover a small hill of opportunity. Settling there allows small oases of opportunity to be created. If enough intermediate oases can be found or made, the long journey can become a series of shorter hops along an archipelago of small successes. The more firms, customers, explorers, and vested interests that are attempting to cross, the more likely the archipelago can be found or created.

To create the future car–a car that is easily imaginable right now–an entrepreneurial car company can only succeed by spinning together a network of vendors, regulators, insurers, road makers, and competitors to help others to devolve quickly and cross.

 

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This is a blog version of a book of mine first published in 1998. I am re-issuing it (two posts per week) unaltered on its 10th anniversary. Comments welcomed. More details here.
-- KK