The fallacy of disruption

Startup-land loves top project the image of the underdog defying odds to beat Goliath and change the paradigm of how we experience the world. We’re lead to believe that all it takes is a business model canvas, joining an accelerator, having a wonderful pitch deck, a couple of tshirts and a can-do attitude and you too could be the next Bezos.

A good friend of mine was explaining that if you want to play in the cryptospace, the first thing you need to understand is that you’re a fly on the back of rhinos, and the market is basically rigged my these whales. We’re simply there capitalising on the big moves. This lead to me having a totally different view, if the market is rigged, the way to play the game is different, you realise that every crash is a deliberate play to get retail investors scared and to sell, and this is how whales scoop up undervalued coin before pumping up the market to sell. 

This relates to startups and disruption because ultimately the startup game, with some exceptions is also a loaded dice. At the end of the day, the reason Facebook is Facebook is because of the whales that back it… taking on the whale of Facebook isn’t just a lottery game of chance, but you’re compounding that with Facebook is simply the front man for a whole portfolio of whales (VCs, the stock markets, hedge funds etc) and these mega-whales are not going to let some David come out of nowhere and affect the success of their investments. If anything no matter how small a fly you are, they are directly incentivised to squash you, they don’t see you as a fly, you’re a mosquito. 

Just like my Cryptofriends lesson, once you realise that megawhales back startups that become whales, and their success means actively curtailing disruption, you realise that trying to disrupt the statuesquo is a foolish endeavour. 

Instead, its a better strategy to look for ways to break new ground, or find niche underserved opportunities, this might look like disruption, but in reality these are simple areas whales have chosen not to feed. 

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