Life

Navigating Era of “Super Internal Competition”

World is stepping into a new era coined as the “super internal competition,” where the race for profitability is becoming increasingly challenging. In this landscape, making money is no walk in the park, with profits dwindling, and individuals facing the daunting task of financial success.

Looking ahead, the future of business poses unique challenges and opportunities. With technological advancements shaping the market, traditional means of revenue generation are facing obsolescence. However, amidst this landscape, avenues like leveraging consumer data and exploring supply chain finance offer promising prospects for financial gains.

As we peer into the crystal ball of the future, society is anticipated to evolve with a heightened focus on individual worth and cultural significance. In this upcoming epoch, personal values and cultural capital are poised to emerge as crucial determinants for survival and advancement.

In this epoch, it’s evident that success will be sculpted by one’s values and the spirit of striving for excellence. As we navigate the uncharted waters of the future, embracing our unique worth and contributing to our cultural tapestry will likely be the linchpins for prosperity and fulfillment in the era of “super internal competition.”

From now on, World has officially entered the era of “super involution”!

Stop complaining that business is not doing well now, because this is just the beginning.

In the future, 99% of people will only be able to earn hard-earned money no matter how hard they work. This is the inevitable result of the development of science and technology and the development of mankind.

There was a slogan 20 years ago called “Make it easy to do business in the world.” But today we have discovered a phenomenon more and more profoundly: there seems to be no easy business in the world.

Why is this?

As society opens up, competition will become increasingly fierce in the future, and when competition is absolutely sufficient, two results will occur:

The first result: the profit margin of all products will be infinitely close to 0.

Due to the information transparency brought about by the Internet, for the same goods/services/works, as long as you still have profits, there will be merchants who sell them cheaper than you; or there will be a platform that offers more favorable prices.

Moreover, it will become more and more convenient for consumers to compare prices, and the lowest price on the entire Internet will always be the most popular. At this time, someone will compete for the market at a low price, or make a profit at a loss. Therefore, no matter what you do in the future, competition will become increasingly fierce, and when competition is absolutely sufficient, all profits will be infinitely close to 0, or even negative profits.

We all know: the things on a certain treasure are cheap enough, right? The prices of various fast-moving consumer goods have been infinitely lowered, but Duoduo is cheaper than Taobao.

Many online stores on Taobao offer free shipping for 19.9 yuan, and Duoduo offers free shipping for 9.9 yuan. Taojiji, which recently went bankrupt, is even cheaper. There are many products on it such as “One Yuan Group Buying”, “Ten Yuan Five Pieces” and so on.

In other words, no matter what product you produce, there will always be a lower price. If the cost is 7 yuan, if you sell it for 9 yuan, I will sell it for 8 yuan. If you sell it for 8 yuan, I will sell it for 7.5 yuan. Some people even sell it for 6 yuan. Ba is willing to sell even at a loss because he wants to destroy everyone first and then monopolize the market for himself.

When everyone is doing business, it means that everyone has no business to do.

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The second result: the money earned by all people will be infinitely close to the average level of society.

Every industry will have a profit dividend period, which often occurs in the early stages of an industry and is in the explosive stage. At that time, there are fewer employees and greater social demand. The profit margin at this stage is relatively high.

Because the profit margin is large, many people will step in. As more and more people are engaged in the industry, the market begins to become saturated and competition becomes more and more fierce, so the profit margin will drop significantly. When will it drop? until it is close to the average profit rate of the entire society.

The so-called average profit rate of society is the income that a person in this society needs to maintain a basic life. For example, in World now, the income level is between 6,000 and 10,000. No matter what lucrative industry you were engaged in before, you will be pulled to this level.

In the past, those who put on mobile phone screen protectors, did manicures, and opened Didi, all used to be hugely profitable industries, but what about now? They have all been reduced to ordinary professions.

Every industry will have an automatic adjustment mechanism to return the profit level of the industry to the discounted average profit rate. For example, training was very profitable before. At that time, a large number of customers were obtained through various forms of investment promotion/telephone sales/search engines, etc., but now telephone The sales effect is getting worse and worse, it is getting more and more difficult to attract investment, and the search engine is getting more and more expensive. Therefore, the cost of acquiring customers has greatly increased, so the profit rate has dropped sharply until it returns to the average profit rate of society.

And when the profit rate of an industry returns to the average profit rate of society, it will no longer decrease, because although the necks of practitioners are stuck by the platform (such as Doudu/Moubao/Xuidi), they will not If you are stuck, it will only leave you a breathing space, leaving you exhausted, but you can only earn a basic profit rate to survive.

For example, when opening a store on Taobao and Duoduo, they have to compete on price and make small profits but quick turnover. The platform will always maintain the profit of the merchants at the edge of being able to meet the needs of the merchants.

Platforms such as Tuan/Hungryx.me have triggered a price war among restaurants. Although many restaurants receive a steady stream of orders every day through these platforms, merchants have to continue to promote sales to achieve sales. At the end of the day, profits are getting thinner and thinner.

By the same logic, drivers who drive on Youdi can only earn hard-earned money in the past two years. In the past, there were few drivers who drove on Youdi, but now more and more people drive on Youdi when they have nothing to do. , it is getting easier and easier to call a taxi, the subsidies are getting smaller and smaller, and the platform’s commission is getting bigger and bigger.

Nowadays, the relationship between platforms and merchants is like this: the platform firmly blocks the necks of major merchants, and always gives merchants only room to breathe: when they see that you are about to die, they will loosen their grip a little and let you breathe. , once you are living happily, they will immediately clamp you down and give you a hand, so that the merchants “cannot survive or die”.

This is the fate of merchants.

Generally speaking, the “algorithm” design principles of all major platforms are similar, with the following three main principles:

First: To make every “individual” run around day and night, they must constantly receive orders, broadcast live broadcasts, and create content, just like “the silkworms will not be exhausted until they die.”

Second: Do not allow an “individual” to continue to grow. Once an “individual” is strong enough to compete with the platform, you must remove all resources from the bottom and then support another individual;

Third: Continuously create income gaps (gaps between rich and poor) between individuals. When the income gap reaches a certain level, we must narrow the income gap and support those weak individuals.

In other words, everyone is a pawn of the platform. The platform will reward each “individual” with a mouthful of food, but it will only give you a mouthful of food. No matter how hard you work or how talented you are, you can only eat as much as you can. A mouthful of rice.

The above phenomenon is also consistent with the view in “The Wealth of Nations”: reduced profits are not the result of business decline, on the contrary, it is the inevitable result of business prosperity.

It will become increasingly difficult to make money, which is the inevitable result of business prosperity and the inevitable development of society!

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In the future, it will be difficult to make money simply relying on product profits. You must rely on “consumption data” to make money.

What is consumption data?

For example, user information, number of members, fans, etc. Whoever has a large amount of consumption data has the initiative.

Nowadays, more and more merchants are using low-price products as bait to master more consumption data. When the number of users reaches a certain level, a profit model will naturally emerge. For example, Xiaomi is such a company:

First of all, Xiaomi’s products are very cost-effective, but the design is very in line with modern people’s tastes. The most important thing is that Xiaomi does not make money from its products at all. Its products are just links, which Xiaomi uses to connect consumers. After tens of millions of consumers are linked, an ecosystem is formed, that is, consumption big data. This is Xiaomi’s most valuable asset, and it has also derived many profit models.

In other words, although the merchant’s front-end products are no longer profitable, the merchant makes money from the back-end services. This is also a delay in profits, which can be called “delayed gratification” in business.

With the great abundance of material products in society, many businesses will use low-profit (or even 0-profit/negative-profit) products in exchange for “consumption data” in the future, attracting everyone to gather, and then relying on operating these huge users to Make money, because the most valuable thing in the future is “consumption big data”.

The good news is: in the future, more and more products will be 0-profit or provided for free. This is what Marx called distribution on demand. With the abundance of materials, we will definitely be able to enter this state.

The sad thing is: only “platform companies” and “leading companies” can make big money in the future, because they have mastered society’s “consumption big data” and rely on this “consumption big data” to accurately understand everyone’s consumption tendencies. /Features/Needs, etc., firmly occupying the commanding heights of business and wealth.

It will become increasingly difficult for ordinary merchants to make money, because “consumption data” is concentrated in the hands of platforms or leading companies. The “consumption data” mastered by merchants themselves (their own consumers/members, etc.) is in front of the platform. It’s not worth mentioning.

In the future, only those who are far ahead in a certain field can make money. They will make 99% of the money in the entire industry, while the remaining ordinary people can only make 1% of the money.

Humanity will be divided into two classes: 1% of people have mastered big data and are property owners, and the remaining 99% of people will become the proletariat controlled by data.

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In addition to “consuming big data”, there is another thing that can make a lot of money, and that is “supply chain finance”?

The so-called “supply chain finance” is to make full use of core resource advantages to make one’s upstream and downstream suppliers inseparable from oneself, and then continuously compress their living space, allowing them to come here to borrow money to seek development, while exploiting their profit, while earning interest on them.

For Internet companies, it is to provide financial products to the public, allowing everyone to borrow and consume on the platform.

For example, Internet giants like Alibaba/Meituan have long been deploying supply chain finance. They already have financial products for mass consumers (C-side), such as Alipay’s Huabei/Jiebei. Meituan’s new feature “monthly payment” also has financial products for merchants (B-side), etc. Didi/Shenzhou also have their own financial products, such as recharging first and then taking a taxi (giving you a certain discount). Let everyone’s cash flow be controlled by them.

For traditional enterprises, it is to control the cash flow of downstream dealers and implement deposits and prepayments. If you can’t turn over, I will help you, but you have to pay interest to me. Many home appliance giants in World are doing this. “Supply chain finance”, but this results in lower net profits for downstream merchants who already have meager profits.

We must see a trend: only finance, even supply chain finance, can make money in the future. It will be difficult for any company or person to make money from a certain product itself, because future production will also be completely open. If you can produce a certain product, someone will produce it at a lower price, and then sell it cheaper. , you must layout the supply chain vertically and lock your group in order to establish barriers.

Sadly, in the future, only platform companies and leading companies will be able to establish supply chain finance. Ordinary merchants can only occupy one or two links and will not be able to build their own supply chain finance at all.

Many Internet celebrities appear to have millions of fans, but in fact they make little or no money. Because they do not understand the product supply chain, they are even less able to deploy supply chain finance.

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At this point, we can see a trend: the more advanced the technology, the better the circulation, so all resources will flow to those with more resources.

To give a few examples:

1: In the past, many counties had been hoping to connect high-speed rail, which would facilitate the return of local talents. However, after the opening of the high-speed rail, it was discovered that local talents not only failed to retain them, but also accelerated their flow to big cities. This is the reason.

2: In order to create a benchmark effect, Internet platforms give 99% of their resources and traffic to the top 1% of leading merchants (Internet celebrities/anchors, etc.), which results in the remaining 99% of merchants being Internet celebrities. /Anchors and others can only compete for that 1% of traffic. This is no longer the 80-20 rule, it is the 1-99 rule!

3: The wealth of society will flow to richer people because it is easier for them to realize the appreciation of money. It is getting harder and harder for people to make money, and it is getting easier and easier to make money;

4: Population is flowing to first-tier cities one after another, because transportation is becoming more and more developed, water flows to lower places, and people go to higher places. Third- and fourth-tier cities will wither. In the past, cities siphoned off rural areas, and next, big cities siphoned off small cities.

5: The movie with the highest box office and the program with the highest ratings will be far better than the second place, because everyone will only choose the first place content to enjoy.

Everyone remembers a logic: in an era of highly transparent information and extremely strong circulation, everyone can only see the number one in the industry. Even the second and third place players will find it difficult to make money and will be dragged into the wave of “involution”.

I often remind everyone: in the future, we will either be the first or the only one. Because only by being far ahead in a certain field and becoming the first can you make money, and you will make all the money in the entire industry.

How should we choose an industry in the future? Remember: Unless you are determined to surpass 99% of the people in this industry, you should not do it until you find this industry!

This is really a cruel trend: no matter how hard they work, 99% of people in the future will only be able to earn hard-earned money. This is the inevitable development of the Internet and the development of mankind.

If we still define success by how much money we make, then more than 99% of people will not be able to find the meaning of life, which will trigger collective depression and anxiety in mankind.

This is what Drucker said: If humans want to continue to survive, the definition of success must be revised.

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What should we do in the future?

First of all, we need to see a better side of society: as platform companies continue to rise, they will surely be controlled by the state in the future and become a tool to maintain social order.

How to maintain social order? Because the platform implements an “algorithm recommendation” mechanism, the essence of the algorithm is to give everyone the opportunity to show their talents, so that everyone can put their talents into their best use and return to their respective positions. The algorithm will invisibly balance everyone’s income and will not concentrate resources on a few people.

Although most people will only earn hard-earned money in the future, the wealth gap between people will become smaller and smaller, and opportunities will still exist and be equal, and society will become more and more fair.

Moreover, the differences in characteristics between people will become larger and larger, because the labels on everyone will be clearer in the future. In the future, the biggest difference between people will no longer be the difference in wealth, but the difference in value labels. For example, singing, dancing, writing, acting, scientific research, lawyer, doctor, etc. This is the rise of individuals, which is the fundamental driving force for the next round of great economic prosperity.

If this trend continues, the future society will definitely become more and more segmented, with everyone immersed in their own world and constantly exploring their own value, without interfering or imposing on each other.

All businesses will eventually die, only culture will survive!

It’s not that business is getting harder, but that business formats are upgrading.

In the past, business was mainly completed by various businessmen, and business relationships were mainly relationships between people. In the future, people will rely on various platforms to survive, and business relationships are no longer relationships between people. It’s the relationship between people and the platform.

In the future, everyone will be a producer and a demander. They can connect freely on the platform, and everyone will eventually settle with the platform.

Therefore, a large number of people in the future society will no longer be businessmen, but will be various value creators and independent economic entities.

Since ancient times, World has never had so many businessmen as there are today, and almost all the people are businessmen. Of course, this is the product of a specific stage.

This stage will soon pass. The future is an era of the rise of individuals, and the individual model will replace the traditional corporate model.

When businessmen disappear in large numbers, various new individuals will emerge one after another. These individuals include educated farmers, ingenious workers, intellectuals, designers, doctors, lawyers, writers, etc.

These talents are the real backbone of World’s future!

Therefore, there are only two industries that can make money in the future, one is the service industry and the other is the education industry.

When you are not strong enough, you have to serve others. This is the service industry;

When you are strong enough, you have to educate others. This is education.

The product is just a tool, not the value itself.

Improving one’s own cognition through culture and further improving one’s own value are the foundation for a person in the future.

We should be based on strivers and value creators.

The future is an era where value determines everything. This era is both beautiful and cruel: if you cannot create value, you have no value in existence.

What determines a person’s final height is often not the starting point, but the turning point. Opportunities are at the turning point!

Struggle changes destiny, blessing every struggling people!

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