We see Mr. Hosokawa in chapter 10 making his trip up to Roxanne each evening. It says that he is invisible, stealthy, and has a strategy when he maneuvers his way through the house completely unseen. That is the essence of why he is successful, and doesn’t ever get caught by anyone. Even those who see him don’t really see what he is doing. Could this tactic be used within business? Could a business slide under the radar, be a little secretive about what they’re doing, and in return become extremely successful?
The Co-Founder of Paypal, Peter Thiel talks about this in one of his books, Zero to One. He shows how he and his partner, Elon Musk, were able to take their company silently to the top which then created a massive disturbance in the environment they were doing business in. If you are able to be quiet while creating a start-up, and the product/service is something that can disturb the marketplace, then you will create what he refers to as a monopoly. A monopoly in business terms is a company that has exclusive control of some area within a particular marketplace (sometimes it can be complete control of the entire industry). Once they establish this control they have extremely high power that allows them to manipulate prices, and completely change that industry (Nader and Taylor).
How is this practically done though? How are companies able to go quietly through the marketplace and then reach their end goal just as Mr. Hosokawa did? Strategy is extremely important. Mr. Hosokawa had a strategy as he walked through the house, he didn’t blindly sprint through the house and hope for the best. No, he made strategic maneuvers that allowed him to go undetected for as long as he wanted to. It’s the same with businesses, strategic maneuvering allows us to make our way through all the other businesses right to the top and become a monopoly. Making the right moves and counter moves that will align us for success in the future is what makes a business a powerhouse. You can’t be a conventional business, always on the offense, or always on the defense, you have to go against the grain to be set apart and that is what creates present day monopolies (Webster). Going against the grain means innovating, being a business that prides itself on innovation and creating demand for innovative products and services.
Old monopolies in America were created so much differently than the ones that we have now. When our country was starting to become a global powerhouse in terms of economics, monopolies were created just by being the first person to hit an industry and have the capital to drown any competitor out of the industry (Worcester). Why doesn’t that still work today? Technological change seems to be the greatest attributor to the overall change in how monopolies of today are formed. (Hubbard and O’Brien). Look at all the giants within our marketplace today, they all are innovators. Facebook for instance came in and connected the world through a global online platform, not through the use of a new phone, but through innovation in something that had never been created. Now they are so huge that they continuously buy up any start-up business that seems to be creating disruption in the social media marketplace through innovation. Partnerships are another key piece to becoming a monopoly in today’s economy. Aligning yourself in the market with partners that will help you grow, and compliment your product/service. Just like Mr. Hosokawa did with Carmen. They were a team, had separate agendas, but were able to be successful by forming a partnership.
Why is innovation so important in particular? In the entrepreneurship community, technological change has become a massive topic of discussion. Why though? People often times don’t like change, so why is it that change is what creates so much demand and allows companies to be successful? It’s not fully known why technological change creates so much economic influence, but it does. Technological change, innovation, is actually proven to shift many areas of the economy. It takes what is possible now and shifts it to a new place of possibilities. What we can produce now is shifted to great possibilities when technology increases, this concept is referred to as a shift in the production possibilities frontier (Hubbard and O’Brien). As companies continue to innovate, our economy has grown exponentially. Real GDP, what we produce on a yearly basis, has continued to increase at exponential rates as companies continuously become more and more innovative. What are our limitations within economy if we continue to be an innovative people. Will everyone one day be wealthy? Can we create a ton of monopolies if everyone is innovating, and actually forming new industries that never existed?