There is no shortage of stories about large corporations using their size and scale to push around smaller businesses.
Most of these stories happened behind closed doors. Occasionally one makes its way to the public arena via a twitter rant or a legal dispute.
In most cases, the big company wins, and the small company loses.
But every once in a while we hear a story that instills life back into the David and Goliath mystique. These stories replenish our collective hope in the entrepreneurial dream.
Earlier this week, the WSJ featured a modern day David and Goliath story with a fun twist.
In this story, Google is Goliath and David is played by Genius, a company who makes it possible for grown men to sing along to Taylor Swift through their song lyric transcripts.
In the article, Genius not only claimed Google was ripping off their lyrics, but they also had a stone and a slingshot to prove it.
Genius hid Morse code within their lyrics in the form of apostrophes that spelled the words “Red Handed.” They were then able to show these Morse code embedded lyrics were surfacing on Google, without their permission.
So simple, and so genius. I couldn’t help myself.
Google has since responded and pushed blame to third-party partners (see this article). This isn’t a perfect David and Goliath story, for several reasons, but it restored my hope nonetheless.
Big companies, despite their vast control and power, aren’t infallible. Sometimes they can be bested by entrepreneurs who find simple ways to go head to head with them.
Slack is the other example that comes to mind today. They managed to create one of the most immersive communication tools of our generation, despite facing ridiculous competition from the likes of Microsoft, Google, etc. Slack shouldn’t exist, but as of yesterday they had a ~$20B market cap after going public in a direct listing.
I originally thought this would be a good place to segue into the inevitable evolution of Davids into Goliaths, but instead I’ll leave you with the immortal words of President Snow from Hunger Games.
“Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective; a lot of hope is dangerous.”
Have a great weekend everyone!