Best businesses to invest/start?
One of the best businesses to invest/start is the one owning up the best distribution pipeline and doing it through providing awesome customer experience. E.g. Amazon, Apple and Netflix. And if your business is competing against the one, then be very scared - Ask the Hollywood studios about Netflix and Amazon Prime. So pick up a space and see opportunities in distribution/customer-experience.
This post was triggered by Amazon's acquisition of PillPack. Just in case you have not heard of it, last week, Amazon.com Inc. reached an agreement to buy online pharmacy PillPack Inc. giving the e-commerce giant the ability to ship prescriptions around the US, and overnight, making it a direct threat to the more than $400 billion pharmacy business. Amazon is paying roughly $1 billion in cash for PillPack, which presorts medications and ships them to customers’ homes in 49 U.S. states, excluding Hawaii. The online retailer beat out Walmart Inc., which also was in talks for the five-year-old startup. This puts tremendous competitive/price pressures on drug chains and retailers including Walgreens, CVS Health and Walmart, which have big pieces of the prescription market. Sure enough, the drug store stocks plummeted on the news on the day the acquisition was announced (28th June, 2018). Almost about a year back, Amazon had announced it's acquisition of Whole Foods.
While we looked at the macro. Don't forget the exciting micro picture. PillPack itself has been a wonderful example of distribution and customer experience. They are trying to solve the problem of drug adherence by simplifying your medicine cabinet. Medication arrives in the mail presorted into clear plastic packets, each marked in a large font with vital information: day, time, pills inside, dosages. These are ordered chronologically in a roll that slots into the dispenser. Let’s say you need to take four different pills in the morning and two others in the afternoon every day: Those pills would be sorted into two tear-off packets: one marked 8am, followed immediately by the 2pm packet. There is computer vision and AI involved in packaging stuff. This aligns perfectly with Amazon. (Unlike the Flipkart acquisition, Walmart couldn't beat Amazon to this one. In fact, Amazon came from behind to take this over.)
Designing superior 'customer experience' is also about altering purchase and consumption-habits. It's not just about bringing stuff on online. In fact, sometimes it could be quite the opposite: #amazondash buttons.
Not everyone can get into this type of business and need not. So if you are into a product business, the extension of these principles in your existing business is:
Designing product is not enough, you need to design distribution. So my engineer/founder friends, don't ignore your salesforce design.