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Moats (Part 4 of Sci-Fi Learnings)

Moats (Part 4 of Sci-Fi Learnings)
By Adam Draper • Issue #83 • View online
Distributional Moats

My Dad, the legend, has a TV show called “Meet The Drapers.” I participated yesterday as a judge and had 3 pitches made to me. It was fantastic.
Meet the Drapers is formatted like “Shark Tank.” There are judges, and there are entrepreneurs pitching companies. Imagine the TV show Shark tank, except all the judges are from the Draper family. It’s pretty awesome.
Now this is a perfect dichotomy to discuss the distribution Moat.
Shark Tank vs. Meet the Drapers
Shark Tank was the first mover, which gave them time to build out distribution in the TV networks. They brought on incredible brands of investors like Mark Cuban, and they have years of investment rounds in the can. And they have millions of viewers every time it comes on. So hundreds of episodes compounded over years with millions of viewers for every show… what is that worth?
Meet The Drapers
2nd mover, similar format. So what is that earlier distribution moat worth to Shark Tank. The age old question, can the incumbent innovate faster than the startup can build out distribution. So my Dad took two focused concepts - Shark tank, and crowdfunding.
He brought the concept to an Indian network, Sony, where it is viewed by a lot of people (I don’t know specifics). But the innovation in the show is that the audience can invest in the startups. So the shows are more real time, and more focused on vetting a startup the same way that an investor would, so that investors globally can invest.
So My dad did what startups do, innovate on the Shark tank model. Now it will be about creating an engaged audience and growing distribution over the coming years. So again, my question is - what does it cost to grow a new audience, or to steal the audience of the old incumbent?
I think that the same way that the Voice and American idol are similar, but different… there is a world where there will be multiple dominant “Startup Funding” shows.
I hope this example visualized distribution well. I can do another one, but I feel like this was a good example of old vs. new.
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Adam Draper

I ponder as a VC.

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