CHAPTER 10Cautionary Tales (Adapt or Die!)

As I mentioned earlier, Google and Facebook pretty much control our online lives. But why do you think that is? Maybe it's because they figured out, before any other company did, exactly what Internet users would want. They predicted the future; at least the future needs of Internet users. We don't all use Facebook just because it's got a cool logo and an interesting history, we use it because we like it and it serves our needs, because it gives us all the tools we want and need in order to connect with people online.

There are so many success stories of companies that pre‐empted the way we would want to consume products and services. Often they have “disrupted” the market. Think about Uber, a company that has totally disrupted the taxi industry. Airbnb has diverted a huge amount of business away from hotels. Adam Sandler has reinvented the movie star model by making films that bypass the studios and movie theatres, and go straight to Netflix as a sole distributor. In March 2017, Netflix announced that Sandler had renewed his exclusive deal with them for a further four movies (following his initial deal to make four movies that he negotiated in 2014). Ricky Gervais has followed suit, stating that he gets more creative control when he makes movies for Netflix rather than the traditional Hollywood studios. This should tell you that there is a massive market for subscription services. These examples have certainly shaped my latest business ...

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