This is an Shark Defense training film (1964). Credit: The US Army. It shows mankind’s fear of a potential shark attack is enormous therefore it made sense to develop a defence part in my book Sharkonomics.
Both in nature and business prey and predator share the same water. Eventually all market leaders will be attacked as a consequence of being in the same market and sharing the same water as their predators. The concept behind developing brands was to protect the original from being copied. For a long time a brand relied on its name and reputation to survive in the market. Today, however, merely the name will not protect the brand from being attacked. As the nature of business gets harder, the need for defence increases. Market leaders need to defend their products and services with deadly seriousness to keep followers at a healthy distance.
Why is defence not valued in business?
As early as in our childhood, from kindergarten upwards, we are trained to be “positive”. So if somebody in the team building the mighty Titanic had said something that was not in line with “the unsinkable creation”, that person would most likely have been put down and corrected (or at least sent off to clean the deck until he had learnt how to be more positive). Internal communications spend fortunes on rewriting information into a positive tone of voice. Initiatives such as bonus systems and stock values are popular in business because positive information can easily be aligned with payroll.
In nature there are not any parachute agreements for management.