Sales v. Secrets

Let's play a game of what-if. Suppose you ran a company in a distressed industry and you decided to take it in a new direction, revamping your product to participate in the green revolution. Of course, depending on the industry, this could potentially mean billions of dollars in development, testing and marketing costs. Imagine that, against the odds, you were able to successful right the ship, that you were actually able to commoditize your grand idea, and that your efforts succeeded. Now imagine that the government of your largest potential growth market was forcing you to share the secret sauce in exchange for market access.

This very nightmare is currently playing out for automakers such as GM as they attempt to build up markets for certain hybrids and electrics in China. While observers are noting that this type of 'deal' would contravene agreements under the current WTO regime, there is also a practical matter that many companies which cross the Chinese government tend to lose access to the nation's consumers. My mother always told me that there is being right, and that there is common sense, and that unfortunately, they don't always perfectly marry. This reality has already forced some companies to play nice, but others are grappling a bit more strenuously with the problem. For more on this developing story, visit The New York Times here.

No comments:

Post a Comment