Innovations Make It Easier to Form and Run Smaller Firms
(p. B3) Unilever is paying $1 billion for Dollar Shave Club, a five-year-old start-up that sells razors and other personal products for men. Every other company should be afraid, very afraid.
The deal anecdotally shows that no company is safe from the creative destruction brought by technological change. The very nature of a company is fundamentally changing, becoming smaller and leaner with far fewer employees.
. . .
Now it is possible to leverage technology and transportation systems that never existed before. Dollar Shave Club used Amazon Web Services, a cloud computing service started by the online retailing giant in 2006 that encouraged a proliferation of e-commerce companies. Manufacturing now is just as much a line item as is a distribution apparatus. This is the business strategy of many other disruptive companies, including the home-sharing site Airbnb, which upends the idea of needing a hotel. The ride-hailing start-up Uber could never have been possible without a number of inventions including the internet, the smartphone and, most important, location tracking technology, enabling anyone to be a driver.
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(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date JULY 26, 2016, and has the title "Deal Professor; $1 Billion for Dollar Shave Club: Why Every Company Should Worry.")