Pragmatic New Strategy for Enterprise Competitiveness

Christopher S. Rollyson

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Neither David Nor Goliath

From 1997-2000, start-ups were playing David to Bricks And Mortars' Goliath. However, as 2000 unfolded, everyone learned that neither party would prevail--absolutely.

True, start-ups undeniably move more quickly to create solutions based on new ideas and new technologies. And because BAMs must inherently deal with "old" and "new" economies, they are almost always behind the curve.

Also true that B2B is not won one customer at a time, as was B2C: in order to win B2B customers, it is necessary to convince their trading partners to adopt the solution, and therein lies the rub. The sales cycle required to convince several links of a supply chain to adopt a new business model too often outlives the expectations and patience of VCs and markets.

In this story, David and Goliath will divide the spoils because they will have to. Start-ups will always be faster, BAMs will control supply chains for the foreseeable future, and both will be needed to move to the next level.

Read more about start-ups' and BAMs' fate in 2001.

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