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Ideas and expertise beat tech

The big problem with tech companies and startups is people got enamored with the notion that technology was so exciting it meant things that used to matter in business, didn't any more, that being forged with new tech "was the idea", that if you had a website, "you'd unlock the power of disruption"

Truth be told using good technology is now a hygiene factor, using great technology ( with some notable) exceptions can be a multiplier, but having a great idea is a to the power of function.

The industry fell in love with the idea that a couple from Goldman Sachs with a dream of selling plants online, would somehow "win" because they had a modern website, that Shakeshack would dominate because it had an app, that Allbirds would thrive because despite the owners knowing about fashion, they had a big dream and sold direct.

For too long we've accepted tech was all that matters, companies shifted to be "a tech company that just happens to make pizza" or " A disruptive tech startup enabling people to see the world" that happens to make luggage.

Technology can be transformative but if it doesn't change the costs of doing business much, it may not matter. Selling direct to consumer isn't enough, having customers emails doesn't matter that much, user data is largely useless, LTV projections are woefully and naively optimistic, a nice app doesn't make you transformative.

The companies are admire these days are different, Nespresso was the first DTC brand we cared about and now makes massive margin on $7bn of mostly incremental sales, they did so because they understood people and competed with a $5 starbucks and not leaving the house.

Simplehuman get me to care enough about trash bags and bins to order from their website direct, they seem to think about each and every step of ownership, of a trash can! They give you free bin liners, package them amazingly and tell you when you're about to run out

Now seems to be the time when incumbent companies can make an absolute fortune with deep category expertise learned over decades, using technology to improve how they work and what they make.

And now seems to be the moment the tide goes out and we see the plethora of companies with no idea, no depth, no killer knowledge, no insights, no sense of reality or humanity. I don't love it, but it's natures way.

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