What can businesses learn from Sharks?《鲨鱼经济学》:鲨鱼身上的商务启发

UPDATED: Here’s an interview with Stefan I did last year…

Sharkonomics

I spent an evening with the guy who wrote Sharkonomics, and came away with this key impression: love means letting go.

You’d think a book about sharks – those vicious predators – would be a bit more aggressive, and you’d be right.

What Sharks know about marketing

Sharks have been doing marketing – aka survival – for a lot longer than humans. So that’s why Stefan Engeseth spent the last three years studying sharks, even swimming with them.

Turns out they are pretty good at the kind of strategies businesses need in the 21st century – lean, agile, efficient and fast-moving.

Stefan came to New Zealand for a conference that, unfortunately, didn’t go ahead. With only 2 more days in New Zealand, and no speaking engagements booked, syENGAGE opened our Auckland HQ to whoever wanted to share a few hours of thinking and talking about sharks – and business.

A few key takeaways from the conversation:

  • Contrary to the popular images of sharks in the movies, sharks don’t like humans that much. We usually don’t have enough fat on us to make it worth the effort of hunting.
  • Likewise, Sharkonomics as a metaphor for marketing doesn’t mean just being aggressive. It means aggressively going after the fat – the inefficiencies and failings of well-established competitors.
  • These days, that approach looks, ironically, like love that lets go … in other words, the “fat” is the way 20th century companies have locked people in through long-term contracts. The aggressive move is to give people a viable option, disrupting the marketplace and creating a new market.
  • Another thing that sharks do well is taking a “test bite” in a market. It’s a deliberate, low-cost but effective way to test the market for a larger product. And it’s more future-focused than market research.

Thanks to those who showed up at short notice, and participated fully in this very stimulating conversation. These are only my personal observations from the session; I’d love to hear from others who were there, or would have loved to be there. Please comment below.

Stefan Engeseth in the syENGAGE office

SharkonomicsI spent an evening with the guy who wrote Sharkonomics, and came away with this key impression: love means letting go.

You’d think a book about sharks – those vicious predators – would be a bit more aggressive, and you’d be right.

What Sharks know about marketing

Sharks have been doing marketing – aka survival – for a lot longer than humans. So that’s why Stefan Engeseth spent the last three years studying sharks, even swimming with them.

Turns out they are pretty good at the kind of strategies businesses need in the 21st century – lean, agile, efficient and fast-moving.

Stefan came to New Zealand for a conference that, unfortunately, didn’t go ahead. With only 2 more days in New Zealand, and no speaking engagements booked, syENGAGE opened our Auckland HQ to whoever wanted to share a few hours of thinking and talking about sharks – and business.

A few key takeaways from the conversation:

  • Contrary to the popular images of sharks in the movies, sharks don’t like humans that much. We usually don’t have enough fat on us to make it worth the effort of hunting.
  • Likewise, Sharkonomics as a metaphor for marketing doesn’t mean just being aggressive. It means aggressively going after the fat – the inefficiencies and failings of well-established competitors.
  • These days, that approach looks, ironically, like love that lets go … in other words, the “fat” is the way 20th century companies have locked people in through long-term contracts. The aggressive move is to give people a viable option, disrupting the marketplace and creating a new market.
  • Another thing that sharks do well is taking a “test bite” in a market. It’s a deliberate, low-cost but effective way to test the market for a larger product. And it’s more future-focused than market research.

Thanks to those who showed up at short notice, and participated fully in this very stimulating conversation. These are only my personal observations from the session; I’d love to hear from others who were there, or would have loved to be there. Please comment below.

Stefan Engeseth in the syENGAGE office

3 thoughts on “What can businesses learn from Sharks?《鲨鱼经济学》:鲨鱼身上的商务启发

  • Amar Trivedi

    From DJs to Mother Nature, Sharks to Indian Chiefs, Military Defence to Spotify, Strategies to Weta Digital, Apple iPhone to Bio-metrics, Knowledge Transfer to diving with Great Whites… Stefan’s talk was rich with vast business experience and interesting life experiences. Great company. Good learning value. Time well spent. Thanks all @syENGAGE for organizing. Best Wishes & Kind Regards… A

    Reply
    • Simon

      Thanks Amar! And thanks for selflessly giving Stefan your awesome SHARK t-shirt! A piece of NZ that he’ll never forget. 🙂

      Reply
  • Richard Aston

    Their marketing skills may be great but their PR is pretty bad . Would a social media strategy help them build a better public profile.
    Finding Nemo was a good start but…

    Reply

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