The power of being David when fighting Goliath

Discussion in 'General Business' started by leo, May 8, 2016.

  1. leo

    leo Member

    The David vs Goliath version of the Underdog archetype flexed its muscle yesterday in Austin, TX in the battle between the City Council and the combination of Uber & Lyft. The City Council and the supporters of legislation requiring mandatory fingerprinting for TNC (Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft) drivers, successfully positioned the 11th largest city in the United States as David against Lyft and Uber- their version of Goliath. And the TNCs played right into their hands, outspending their opponents 80 to 1 on the campaign and using their advantage with a rolodex of Austin customers/ potential voters to get out the vote while offering free rides to the polls.

    And the TNCs lost by 10,000 votes, representing an 11% margin, which is a landslide in an election.

    What is even more fascinating about these results is that the people that cast their vote for the "winning" side didn't actually get anything by winning the election. They already had the choice not to use Uber and Lyft, and other companies were allowed to enter the market and fingerprint drivers. I will acknowledge that one could argue that defeating Prop 1 will speed up the entrance of a company with fingerprinted drivers into the market, to fill the vacuum left by the void of Uber and Lyft, but no one knows what the quality of that service will be or how long till it's operating at a level similar to Uber and Lyft.

    On the other hand, the people on the "losing" side, actually lost something of value. As promised, Monday morning Uber and Lyft will no longer provide both passengers and drivers with their ride sharing service. As a frequent user of these services, I can assure you that their absence will be felt by the thousands of riders and drivers that will have to find new (or old) methods of getting rides or making money.

    If the majority of voters (not registered voters, but people who actually cast a vote) were voting based on self interest, it should have been a landslide for Prop 1. If the majority of voters were persuaded by advertising and outreach, Prop 1 should have passed easily.

    The only way Prop 1 would fail is if more people were motivated to cast their vote by the idea that the City of Austin was being "bullied" by big corporations (albeit extremely popular ones), and they weren't going to let their David get beaten by Goliath. And that's exactly what happened, and it wasn't even close.

    As an entrepreneur, this is an important lesson. People aren't always rational, and motivating themes like "The Underdog" are enduring and incredibly powerful. Hollywood figured this out decades ago and has made trillions of dollars telling this story thousands of different ways (Luke Skywalker, Rocky Balboa, Frodo Baggins).

    Politicians have also won countless elections using this strategy. Just look at the messaging in today's elections. Donald Trump: "I'm an outsider fighting against the establishment"- David vs Goliath. Bernie Sanders: "I'm fighting for the little guy against Wall Street Big Wigs"- David vs Goliath. [Enter tea party candidate]: "I'm fighting for the Constitution against all the big money special interest groups"- David vs Goliath.

    The lesson here is to never forget the importance of tapping into the emotions of people. Try to find Jungian archetypal stories that can be woven into the message of your business. If you can make people believe you are involved in overcoming the odds or helping create heroes, people will support you even if they receive no direct benefit.
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
    Drew Hudgins likes this.
  2. Drew Hudgins

    Drew Hudgins New Member

    Leo! What a great run-down!

    What you've done so beautifully is … you've stayed so balanced! :-D

    I have a hard time holding back: I wanna sic it to the government for a lot of dumb—not only decisions—but toxic philosophies held that might sound full of philanthropy and rainbows, but end up hurting many, many hard-working doers in the long run.

    But since you've wrapped up the post so wonderfully here…

    I have no choice but to smile and completely agree. Dead on. People buy on emotions, straight up!

    I'm inspired now. Gotta go build stuff now! :-D
    leo likes this.
  3. leo

    leo Member

    Thanks Drew! Glad you got something from the post. Still no Uber or Lyft in Austin, but, for the people paying attention, we learned some really great lessons.
    Drew Hudgins likes this.

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