Good thread. But how do you even begin to challenge powerful incumbents that have more money than you and the skill to manipulate the messaging around their fiefdom?

Begging politicians for restrictions doesn’t work, but there’s a classic strategy to challenge economic power.
When facing a more powerful business adversary, you can’t go head to head. You start by eroding the base of their power in ways they’re likely to overlook. When companies get big enough, they lose the ability to be nimble and stop caring as much about specialized edge cases.
Smaller, nimble companies can pick specific use cases or markets that they’re overlooking or under serving and make a specialized product to cater to just that problem. This is your wedge, because the giants don’t have the same ability to focus like that on specialized cases.
You can begin to capture the underserved group of customers through this specialized application and siphon money and power off a market without them noticing or caring too much. This is how you weaken them and start to get your own financial engine rolling.
You then ratchet up your product, pivoting in a logical way to tackle another underserved segment of their customer base that complements your first target group. This is how most startups manage to get new footing in a saturated market. Find or manufacture a use case like this.
When you start to get big enough that they take notice, this is when buyout offers happen so that giants retain their market power. But you don’t have to sell. It depends on your motivations. As a coordinated movement, you can attack an incumbent from multiple angles.
With a small group of companies each trying to carve off different segments of a market. Do this well enough from enough angles and you can do some substantial damage to a monopolist’s market. The issue with this is usually that everyone is willing to sell.
But it comes down to motivation and values. If a core value as part of a movement is actually dismantling incumbent power, you can coordinate with a loose group of peers to continue pressing.
You see this play out in the expansion and contraction of enterprise tools and firms over decades. Some major player coalesces and then smaller splinter companies spring up and split tooling off until they coalesce again.
If this happens as part of an intentional value-based movement (like with the ecology example) its a way to erode incumbents without resorting to begging for legislation that’s going to be hamstrung by big money anyway.
You have to knock out the supports holding up the giants to have any real chance at taking them down or breaking them up.
That said, this also requires enough driven, value-oriented people operating in unison and resistant to financial allure of buyout that I’m skeptical it can really develop absent some new psychological or cultural factor.
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