Competitive advantages used to be the hallmarks of successful businesses. They were tangible, predictable and measurable. In other words, they could be clearly identified, there was no secret sauce to them. But not everyone had the resources to build them. It was mostly the big guys who were able to do this. Often years, if not decades, were required to build them. And once they had been built, they would last for many more decades. That's why people talked about sustainable competitive advantages.
Today, businesses operate in a different environment. Any advantage can quickly turn out to be short lived. In some markets, competing businesses switch the lead like the athletes of the Tour de France. What’s more, current sources of an advantage are not always that easy to spot. They are less visible, more diverse, and sometimes they can be built quickly, before competitors notice.
But here is the one thing that unites many of today's sources of advantage:
THE MAJORITY OF THEM ARE
I N T A N G I B L E
Only few of them are based on physical assets.
Only few are built solely on processes or technologies.
But most of them cannot easily be measured. They are rarely to be found on a balance sheet or P&L. We have to dig a little deeper to see them.
WHAT DETERMINES SUCCESS IN TODAY'S MARKETPLACE?
Here is your guide to Intangible Economics. We are going to explore what makes businesses successful today and you are going to get to know what forms of value are being created by businesses.
We will provide a bit of historical context, exploring how success factors of business have evolved since the Industrial Age. This context provides a foundation to see how success factors are changing over time. After all, who wants to work with an outdated equipment.
Finally we have some case studies that go deeper into specific elements of intangible economics.