New Fables in Biz – Tortoise and the Hare

The classic tale written as a business case study.

The tortoise and the hare were the two main direct competitors in their industry. They were focused intensely on one-upping each other and acting invincible to smaller players.

The tortoise was slow and steady. He was adverse to risk and sought to keep competitors away by putting a wall around his products and services. It was hard to move fast with all the baggage he was carrying with him. He was really good at copying the innovations of others.

The hare was fast and willing to take risks. Unfortunately, the hare was missing focus and got distracted by new things easily. She quickly built new products but would often lose interest in them if they didn't take off right away, allowing the tortoise to steal market share over time.

The tortoise and hare decided to have a race to decide who would be the winner once and for all. Just before the race started, a fox gave the hare and the tortoise each a cool new gadget. It was a cutting edge smart phone with a GPS, camera, and music player built-in.

The race started and the two were off and running. The hare of course burst way ahead of the tortoise and in 30 minutes was 2/3rds complete the race.

The hare thought she had lots of time since the tortoise was miles behind so she decided to stop and play with the new smart phone and finish the race later.

The tortoise was moving slow because he had to carry his shell with him so he started playing with the new smart phone as he plodded along. He saw the value of the new product and was wondering how his company could copy it and maybe something even better. He was so focussed on this task he accidentally missed the turn and ended up on the longer path. He was still plodding along with belief he had all the time in the world.

The fox was smart, fast and hungry. He used the built-in GPS tracking to find the hare where she was sitting and playing with her new toy. The hare had her earbuds in and didn't hear the fox until it was too late. All the speed in the world can't help if you don't see or hear the warnings.

The fox ate the hare for lunch.

The fox knew he couldn't take on the shell of the tortoise directly so he helped keep the tortoise distracted so he would think he had all the time in the world and could continue trying to win the old race.

The fox created a new market with new demand seemingly out of thin air. It was an entirely different race.

The hare was easily distracted and disappeared from the market entirely.

The tortoise is still there trying to win the old race, far too late to market and protecting his old world.

The world is wide open to the hungry fox.

Lesson:

What brought you success in the past, is not guaranteed bring you success in the future. Innovation must be continous and timely.

Which character is your business?

By | 2017-04-03T11:41:59+00:00 December 15th, 2011|Categories: Business Strategy, Doug's Blog|

About the Author:

Doug Wagner is an entrepreneur, President and Co-founder of Sunwapta Solutions. Sunwapta's mission is to help businesses transform from surviving to thriving, sustainable growth. From strategy to implementation, this means marketing, sales, managing your brand and delivering consistent value. Get more clients and keep them.