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love your enemies - the business case? - Eve's Commonplace
love your enemies - the business case?

If one applies market thinking to capitalism, it becomes apparent that capitalism is in danger of becoming a monopoly. This movement towards supremacy appears to lie at the heart of much of its current shortcomings – being the only game in town means that capitalism owns the rules, with the old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely. What should capitalism do to save itself from the torpor of monopoly? It should cherish its rivals, realising that without them to keep it honest, it will fail. Rather than fighting them, capitalism should take a lesson from Axelrod’s Prisoner’s Dilemma competition and strive to win against itself, rather than by competing head-to-head. And might co-opetition - with apologies to Nash, Axelrod, Nalebuff and Brandenburger, increase the total set of outcomes?

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2 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 12th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

turn the right cheek

are you suggesting to turn the right cheek? Is it reasonable in a highly competitive market where the goal is to destroy your enemy? Is there any business example suggesting that it beneficial to the bottom line and to stakeholders?
evepoole From: evepoole Date: June 13th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: turn the right cheek

I'm not sure I'd agree that the goal in a highly competitive market is to destroy your enemy, nor that I'm advocating a turn the other cheek strategy. Like a football game, you may well want to beat the competition, but destroying them would be a Pyrric victory, and in market terms leads to monopoly and collapse. For specific business examples, Nalebuff and Brandenburger's book Co-opetition contains lots of cases of co-opetition in practice - even Michael Porter would argue that narrowing the field of competition in this way allows you to sharpen your competitive advantage, thus improving outcomes for the consumer.
2 comments or Leave a comment