Defining Market Competition Featuring Netflix, Pirates, and Uber

Competition is nothing new. It's existed before humans walked the earth and it will remain long after we've drunk the final glacier margarita. The founding father of capitalism, Adam Smith, named the invisible hand not for companies to invisibly high-five each other, but for opening new doors and climbing the status quo to raise the bar. He understood that without changing the game, progress becomes scarce.

It seems like an easy concept to swallow given the capitalists that exist in today's global economy, yet some "progressive" markets continue to stand in their own way. Uber's inability to penetrate the Portland market is a prime example.

In a nutshell, Taxi Unions in Portland carry a lot of political weight and have successfully blocked Uber's introduction to Rip City for too long. This will no doubt change in the long run, but it exposes a fundamental lack of acceptance by a city that claims to be a part of the cutting edge. Granted Portland is a ways away from San Francisco as a the tech cluster, so it's not rushing to integrate silly startups like Leap.

A refreshing counterexample to Portland's resistance comes from a personal favorite to every content consumer with steady internet: Netflix.

Their pricing model relies heavily on a key understanding that other companies should snap to: piracy is normal competition and trying to destroy is a fruitless battle. They've accepted it as an inevitable force to be reckoned with, not only that, they've remained nimble and are using piracy to help build their infrastructure.

Measuring the popularity of piracy within a region plays a big part in that region's subscription price for Netflix - which makes complete sense. Countries with high piracy rates tend to have more affordable price points to compete and attract new Netflix users, and it's working.

The relationship between internet piracy and crowd-sourced taxi services is thin but drives a core point, market standards don't last. Wutznxt knows this and frankly, we thrive on it. If you're interested in changing your market's landscape, we'd love to lend a hand.