Enabling versus Disabling Businesses

I think there are two types of businesses:

  • Enabling Businesses let their customers to achieve more. Some examples in this category are SalesForce, Facebook or Apple. Customers can make more sales and/or new experiences with each of these companies.

  • Disabling Businesses stop things from happening. Companies in this category might keep out hackers, reduce costs or to keep employees compliant with regulations.

My observation is Enabling Businesses offer the greatest opportunity. I haven't done a deep study, but a cursory look shows the biggest companies in our world today are all Enabling.

I think the reason is fairly straightforward.

Enabling Companies potentially have no ceiling for the benefit they can offer. SalesForce's products promise to help a business grow huge, for example. Disabling Businesses offer customers a limited benefit. You can only stop all of the hackers, make employees regulation compliant or save a limited amount of cost for each client.

Early in my career, I worked for a security company. I felt yucky. It just wasn't fun to be in the business of stopping people. Life has proven more rewarding when you're enabling people to achieve more.

Michael Girdley