Survivors and Thrivers

Some businesses are survivors and some are thrivers.


Selling on eBay, local hairdresser, selling sandwiches.

These companies will soldier on no matter what. They’re unlikely to be massive, but that’s not the main aim of a survivor business.


Marketing consultancy, dot com (e.g. Beebo).

These companies make stellar profits for a short while, and either go bust or get acquired. Most entrepreneurs belong to this camp - hoping to make big money before the music stops.

But the empire builders create businesses which have the best of both worlds.

Survivors AND Thrivers

McDonalds, Microsoft, Tesco, QB House (an innovative Asian barber shop).

These companies are defensible in a down turn, yet have the potential to maintain strong long term growth. ‘Going into survival mode’ isn’t necessary for these businesses. Even in the worst possible economic climate they’ll stay strong.

Everyone would like one of these businesses, but it doesn’t happen by accident. All of these companies have some kind of structural advantage which makes it hard for competitors. For instance, Tesco has the infrastructure, McDonalds has the brand and the consistency, Microsoft has the huge market share, Facebook has the user base etc.

These are almost unassailable advantages, and there are no overnight alternatives to any of their product offerings. This is the sort of business entrepreneurs should really be aiming to build.