Original title: the strategic logic of dismantling the US regiment
Despite the sharp drop in share prices since the initial public offering (IPO) in September, Goldman Sachs issued a report on Oct. 24, giving the Beauty Group a buy rating of HK$83, a 51% premium to the closing price of the previous trading day.
The US group is one of the few enterprises in China consciously exploring new structure and evolution path. In September, the US delegation commented on its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, breaking HK$400 billion on the same day, after BAT in the market value of Chinese listed Internet companies, surpassing Jingdong and the millet just listed. Today, the US group is already a huge and diversified business. Business involves take-out, group buying, wine tours, movie tickets, online booking, sharing bicycles, and so on. Local life services have reached 340 million users, with transactions amounting to 411 billion yuan in one year from April 2017 to April 2018, and still growing at a high speed.
There are many differences between the US group and the listed companies in the past. Compared with BAT, it is a "new generation" Internet company, a "native" of the mobile Internet and a "giant" of new businesses; it is "bellicose" and "warlike" and several areas are finally won through brutal competition; its business involves many aspects of life services, is already a nil. Its founder, Wang Xing, is a successive entrepreneur who founded the American Troupe after several projects failed and eventually went public.
Among all these "differences", it is particularly noteworthy that the Beauty Corp. is a typical example of the emerging format in the mobile Internet age. If we are not puzzled by its apparent "belligerence", in-depth analysis will find that the company's business ecology in the process of building an inherent strategic "logic", its business is around the "life service" launched, is the application of new technology scene innovation. In this process, the company is particularly good at exploring the characteristics of new formats, and is good at combining the development of enterprises with the development of new formats. The US group is one of the few enterprises in China consciously exploring new structure and evolution path.
Now we are in a rapidly changing business era, in the field of innovation and activity, new forms of business, new industries are constantly emerging. The time scale of industrial evolution and enterprise development is already comparable, and industry is no longer an "environmental constant" of enterprise development. In the past, as the "background" of enterprise research, the industrial structure has become the "object" of study directly, deeply "embedded" in the development of enterprises. In different stages of industrial development, there are different competition structures and competition focus. The coordination of strategic rhythm and industrial development rhythm is a necessary condition for an enterprise to win and achieve successive success.
We have seen too many examples in the 40 years of surging business practices in China. Now, in the face of a new round of technological and industrial change, the degree of change will be more intense, the speed of change will be faster. As for the digital economy, it is now a "start-up" period, so we can see not only complex changes, but also how many businesses, products, lifestyles that will become accustomed to in the future have developed from scratch, and the ups and downs of enterprises that provide products and services therein. Rise and fall. It is in this sense that the US Troupe has demonstrated a rare sense of self-awareness in the exploration of new business formats by the entrepreneurs involved, which is a unique aspect of the US Troupe.
Almost none of the major business areas in which it is now engaged are China's first entrants, but now it is leading in these areas. Latecomers are mainly represented in two aspects. On the one hand, Wang Xing can not be led by the fierce competition like street warfare, always able to withstand the rhythm of competition, to find the rhythm of market development. During the thousand regiments war, the US regiment did not burn money without restraint, but was able to use resources most efficiently after careful consideration. When competitors focus on marketing and burn money, the key to developing the next stage of competition in the market is to apply digital technology to operational capabilities and product user experience.
On the other hand, Wang Xing will think about the nature of each new business, or new opportunities, the U. S. Troupe will do experiments in a small area to verify and correct their own understanding, until the success of small-scale experiments, began to promote a large area. For example, the wine tour business of the US group has sprouted from its own group buying business. Ctrip was a well-deserved giant in this field, accounting for more than half of the market share when the US group started its wine tour business. The reason why the company's wine travel business can develop is that it found completely different from Ctrip's business logic and life scenarios, and through a small range of experiments to verify the full start. In this way, we did not walk on the "track" of Ctrip, but from the "blind spot" of Ctrip. In two years, the US group's online hotel order market share is close to 50%.
"No man's land"
Life services using mobile Internet is a new business form. It's a "no man's land" and a busy place. Too many entrepreneurs and investors flock to it. Many times, people take the popular knowledge of the industry as their own opinions without thinking. They have all kinds of goals and ideals. Gallop. This is easy to get out of the market development and will be in the wrong direction when the market structure changes.
It is important to eliminate interference and grasp the reality of market development and explore possible directions. In several areas, the key is that it can consciously explore the smallest operational closed-loop, consciously explore the links between different businesses. Wang Xing's business structure, which is based on the logic of "high frequency hitting low frequency" for life service, is gradually perfected in the exploration of different new formats.
Takeout is the core of the company's business ecology. In the field of catering, the company has not only stayed on the delivery of meals, but also involved in all aspects of the industrial value chain, including various operating tools software, ERP, and even the whole supply chain management through self-construction and investment. The mission is to reconstruct the catering industry with new information technology.
While financing, while investing, this is the current start-up enterprises, especially technology enterprises, a significant new feature, the United States is no exception. Using equity market tools to lock in key elements of the resource market, on the one hand, the company is exploring possible future business directions, on the other hand, to broaden the business ecology of the competitive toughness. As a pioneer of new business form, facing the competition risk and the high uncertainty of new industry development, it is very important to build a highly robust and flexible business ecology.
From the late nineteenth Century to the end of twentieth Century, the United States experienced rapid development for more than a century. During the First Industrial Revolution, especially during the Second Industrial Revolution, great inventions brought America from a backward agricultural society to a highly developed modern society. Cars, assembly lines, electrification, modern homes, modern retail, modern medicine, airplanes, telephones, all kinds of production equipment and household tools have brought tremendous changes to American life.
From the historical perspective of the great change of human production and lifestyle, we are now at the beginning of a new round of great changes characterized by digital technology. Many of the most important and customary lifestyles, modes of production, products and services in the future may not have appeared, but they will be emerging from these dynamic new industries. Emerge from the state participants. No matter from the perspective of life service e-commerce industry, or from the perspective of its own development as an enterprise, now, the exploration of the United States is just beginning, the United States still has a lot of way to go from profitability. In the prospectus, the "risk factor" section takes up dozens of pages. In the fast-changing digital economy era, the "shelf life" of successful methods is very short, facing the future, the US Troupe will face greater challenges.
"Good chess players usually know and accept that they are also chess pieces in bigger games," Wang Xing said at a restaurant when the US troupe went public. If we understand this sentence from a different perspective, although this understanding may not be the author's original intention, but it happens to be very consistent with the topic discussed here, but still get a lot of inspiration: no matter how diverse the enterprise, in the face of the new life in the future corresponding to the entire industrial system, always a part. However, actively exploring and imagining the "big chess game" in an industry related to your business will undoubtedly be of great help to business development. In turn, striving to realize your business ideal will also contribute your strength and influence to the "big chess game".
This is the inspiration from the US mission, and it is also a reason for its sustained concern.
(The author is the Chief Fellow of the Center for Innovation and Industrial Upgrading, Institute of Global Industry Studies, Tsinghua University)
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