I love pie. I know most people love pie. If you haven’t had pie yet, don’t worry, I know you’ll love it. If you don’t like pie, you haven’t had the right pie yet.
The first part of this essay was about my love for pie and my belief that everyone can, will and should love pie. This part is about the other kind of pie. The metaphorical pie in business.
In my experience, people speak of the business pie in 1 of 2 ways:
- Grabbing a larger piece of the pie.
- Increasing the pie itself.
Grabbing a larger piece of the pie is essentially increasing your market share. Capturing a higher percentage of customers/users/clients/profits that the market offers for your own business. Increasing the pie itself is something all together.
Every business starts with the idea of grabbing a large or largest piece of the pie. ‘We will capture the market with our innovative business model, proprietary technology and/or marketing strategy.’ Or some variation of that. A zero sum game until monopolistic domination of the market or failure.
What about increasing the pie itself?
Let’s start with this, let’s say Pie A has $100 in potential revenue and you own 100% of that market. A pure monopoly. $100 revenue captured.
Now Pie B has $1,000 in potential revenue and you own a mere 15% of the market with many players. $150 captured.
Alright, everyone knows the math here and that a smaller percentage of a much bigger number blah blah blah… I am not assuming an uneducated audience just setting the stage for my argument.
The size of the pie is an issue I see in the Dubai music scene currently. There are many players on both ends of the equation, talent agencies, artist managers, gig organizers and musicians themselves. All of these parties, including ourselves, are competing for a finite number of opportunities here because the actual pie itself is not increasing at the rate that our efforts are.
Why is that happening? What can be done?
The whole ecosystem will succeed if all of us create value beyond ourselves. That means that our individual and respective goals and ambitions will reap limited rewards if we do not elevate the value of our market itself. We are not growing as exponentially as similar music scenes because we are not operating as a collective towards a goal bigger than all of our respective companies’ missions. We need to put the pie before us.
One thing I have noticed in places like L.A or New York is that every single firm or studio is highly competitive with each other. The ultimate hustle. That being said, they more often than not work together on deals and put the market before them. They have an understanding that their own businesses’ success will not matter if the overall quality and success of their region does not transcend themselves.
We should not just start little gigs and shows and say we need to be ‘patient,’ cause these things take time. Nor does it mean that we create an online platform and say we are the first movers with a unique idea that will soon take over. It means that we continue running our businesses as best as we can AND ESPECIALLY work side by side to make our businesses actually mean something.
Everyone can, will and should love pie. So the bigger the pie, the better.