Hey, I'm Dan! I invest in early-stage startups at Madrona and write a weekly newsletter called the DL

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Disrupt yo self! 💥

It’s really interesting to see corporate strategy play out in this era of technology and innovation because innovators are willing to take gigantic bets and disrupt themselves.


For example, four of the major online brokerages recently announced they would be cutting online trading commissions to $0 (to compete with Robhinhood). That is huge - to put it in perspective, the brokerage industry is probably going to lose $2B in annual revenue from commissions.


Another local example is Zillow. Rich Barton rejoined the company as CEO this year to rally the company around “instant buying” (and compete with Opendoor). Last week, he said the reason they are investing in instant-buying is it’s “an existential threat because if it works and we don’t do it, we get displaced as the marketplace.”


I’m sure at some point, someone at Robinhood or OpenDoor has answered a defensibility question by saying, “our legacy competitors can’t offer this because it conflicts with their core business model.” But in today’s world, expect to see more and more companies stay competitive by disrupting themselves.


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