quarta-feira, agosto 17, 2011

Impaciente com os lucros e paciente com o volume

Na senda do que aconselha Steve Blank, iterar (pivotar) até encontrar a fórmula lucrativa e só então escalar:
"Clayton Christensen would agree with the intuition that Groupon displays but ignores: businesses should become profitable before they become big. The best way to manage a fledgling business is for managers to be impatient for profit but patient for growth. (Moi ici: Um velho marcador nosso conhecido e aplaudido) Such a strategy limits an early venture's funding in order to force the business to develop a profitable business model and then invests heavily in growth once such a model is identified (Moi ici: Recordar Blank aqui e aqui) — Christensen terms such investments "good money" for incubating growth businesses and extols the strategy for three reasons.

  • First, when a business is impatient for profit, managers are forced to validate their assumptions and demonstrate that customers are fundamentally willing to pay an acceptable price for the company's offering.
  • Secondly, expecting a business to be profitable quickly forces it to keep its fixed costs low. Because a business's cost structure determines which customers it finds profitable, keeping these fixed costs low preserves strategic options for the company when it is choosing which customers to target.
  • Finally, reaching profitability quickly ensures that when outside financing dries up, the venture can succeed on its own.

Groupon's fundamental problem is that it has not yet discovered a viable business model. The company asserts that it will be profitable once it reaches scale but there is little reason to believe this.
The story would be much different if Groupon did not have nearly unlimited access to funding so early in its corporate life. A successful financing strategy would have provided Groupon with incremental investments to enable the development of a profitable business model around a product that had obvious appeal to customers and merchants.(Moi ici: Como referimos aqui, a maior partes das vezes não é a pobreza que mata uma start-up, é o excesso de dinheiro) In such a world, Groupon would have stuck to its home market of Chicago until it developed a business model that was profitable at scale in one market. Armed with a viable profit formula, Groupon could have scaled aggressively — confident that much larger profits awaited it."
Trecho retirado de "Groupon Doomed by Too Much of a Good Thing"

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