Technology capability rarely wins markets alone. If tech can win without other components, Apple will not be the most valued company on earth. What wins is strategy with a solid business model. You need a strategy to succeed in any market, even when you think you have the best product. Interesting, without the right market strategy, you will never have the best product! As I noted, many years ago in the Harvard Business Review, Intel Corp won over AMD not necessarily because of technology, but because it “personalized” its microprocessor.
Yes, the “Intel Inside” campaign was an iconic show that orphaned AMD even before it was born. When people asked for computers and laptops with Intel inside, AMD lost trajectory. The brilliance of Microsoft is not really the Windows, but a recursive pricing strategy which demands annual licensing fees from corporate customers. In short, if not for the pricing, Microsoft would have advanced the world of PC industry.
We are witnessing uncommon things in a new infant sector: blockchain. It is hot and it is trendy. One company moved from $5 to $143 within days just for adding a blockchain product in its portfolio.
The financial market mania over digital currencies isn’t limited to digital currency prices, it appears. A tiny startup focused on financial tech called Longfin has seen its stock price skyrocket since it started trading last week.
Longfin, based in New York, started trading on the Nasdaq last week at $5. On Friday, the company announced it acquired another startup called Ziddu.com that uses the blockchain ledger accounting technology from digital currencies to make small loans.
That prompted an explosion of interest in Longfin, which saw its stock price more than quadruple on Friday to almost $24 a share. Then on Monday, the mania spread with the stock hitting a high of almost $143
I know that your institution wants to get into this game. That makes sense. But I have some words: it is not the technology that will drive the wins, just as it was not web technology that made Mark Zuckerberg a billionaire. The key thing that will matter is strategy – your company blockchain strategy. How are you going to approach your business using blockchain? Blockchain must work as a tool, enabling and anchoring the business strategic objectives. The business objective must be superior to anything that blockchain promises. It is only when you get the strategy right that you can structure how blockchain can anchor the technology element.
I want you to have a strategy, as you begin to think through this technology. We have looked at this technology, worked on it, and we like what we have seen especially as it concerns contracting and remittance. We would be happy to serve as Subject Matter Experts to provide guidance on strategy, technology and product evolution anchored on blockchain in your firm. We would come to any city in Africa and actually show you live how this works. Our expectation is to author the first draft of your blockchain roadmap, synthesizing your business with the possibilities of blockchain.---
1. Advance your career with Tekedia Mini-MBA (Sept 13 – Dec 6, 2021): 140 global faculty, online, self-paced, $140 (or N50,000 naira). Click and register here.
2. Click to join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and own a piece of Africa’s finest startups with a minimum of $10,000 investment.