“Read this if you want to live!”
(Small business experience and modelling in a high-competitive environment.)
Sarah Connor, Terminator Killer Inc.
I’ve just seen the latest Sarah Connor film “Terminator: Dark Fate” in which our plucky entrepreneur continues her small enterprise in murdering robots from the future. From Sarah Connor’s experience I have extracted a number of conclusions about her business skills and a general lack of modern enterprise innovation which may serve as good advice for any small, lone wolf enterprise in our highly competitive world of corruption, greed and vicious brutality.
Background – Terminator Killer Inc.
Sarah Connor’s enterprise is based on the simple principle of “taking out” the competition at the earliest opportunity while avoiding, or minimising, business risk to her own enterprise of staying alive. Her enterprise has been around now for over thirty-five years and has proven reasonably reliant in withstanding repeated and highly aggressive attacks from her principal competition: Gigantic Killer Robot Army Corp. However, I have come to the conclusion that Sarah’s fundamental lone wolf business practices are not best-suited to long term sustainability in this highly fluid market where her competitor is in a constant state of rapid evolutionary development and has substantial access to huge research and development resources.
While the lone wolf sole trader might be able to maintain a modest degree of agility in the market and prove to be innovative in adapting to some or all of the changes that arise, it has been shown repeatedly that Sarah’s business model can only be supported by outside injections of resources. Without such injections of outside support I fear her long term business model is totally unsustainable.
So what could be done by Sarah to improve her business model for the long term?
An Alternative Enterprise Model – The New Connor Model
It can be clearly seen that Sarah lacks the large-scale research and development resources and ongoing facilities that could support a higher degree of responsiveness to sudden market shifts when the competition introduce a new product. This appears to be a direct effect of her own conditions, both as an under-resourced sole trader and under continuous market stress from the competition.
Obviously her first task must be to secure sufficient resources to take a “time out” and conduct a deep re-evaluation of her current business model and business practices. This can be done through a period of reflection or the engagement of suitably-qualified external consultants who might, if they are convinced of the viability of Sarah’s enterprise, be able to offer advice and support with a set of special skills suited to this unique market.
This leads to a key flaw in Sarah’s lone wolf approach. Despite continued and extensive experience with the competitor’s product line and the competitor’s general business approach, Sarah has maintained a consistent dedication to what appears to be an out-dated mode of action when dealing with the competitor’s products, and while this has been generally successful, with the noted injections of outside support, it has its flaws in dependency on such aid and the repeated exhaustion of her own resources to the point of near-collapse of her business on numerous occasions.
It can be clearly seen from repeated experience that low grade tools, such a .45 calibre bullets, are far from adequate in dealing with even the earliest products in the competitor’s range. As for the later products, Sarah has shown very innovative approaches in an alternative timeline, aided by “Pops”, in using acid to deal with one particular threat, but this sense of business innovation has not been carried through in any serious alternative timeline approaches.
Here we can see a clear need for Sarah to update her business model with new tools, ideally those adapted to the latest competitor products and fully-capable of further and rapid response to any new innovation Sarah might anticipate from new product releases by the competition.
Developing Sarah’s Business Model – From Lone Wolf To Wolf Pack
The core flaw of Sarah’s approach, however appealing to the James Cameron Method, is the emphasis on going it alone in dealing with the competition. This, I believe, is where Sarah needs to upgrade her business organisation to take on a wide range of additional and complementary skills and practical experience.
No one person can easily sustain the energy and innovation, the adaption and rapid response to this kind of market alone, especially if you aim to be the market leader in the long term projections of the success-fail nature of this unique market. If Sarah needs to become the sole owner of this market she must upgrade across the board.
Moving on from any period of reflection into her model we can see a number of opportunities and challenges facing Sarah. To move from a lone wolf agency to a larger group, leading up to full corporate status, a wolf pack, she needs a different kind of resource and possibly new injections of outside support.
Her new model needs to give her the financial and material facilities to remain an agile, evolving business with all the assets needed to undertake a diverse range of actions in dealing with the competitor’s products, current and future.
While a rigid base of operations would make her vulnerable to direct action from the competition her approach to the market might include use of strict confidentiality through indirect and obscure alliances or secret research and development facilities that are proven to be proof against corporate espionage, or other action, from the competition. This can include keeping her R&D facilities off-grid, using air-gapped technology to withstand such threats as cyber intrusion, and possibly making some or all of her facilities highly mobile, such as using large-scale railway trains, multiple road trains or small ships as untraceable locations., all protected by the strictest security disciplines against past, present and future discovery by the competition.
As has been pointed out the competitor’s products need dealing with by more than the simplest tools available to-hand. While there is an abundance of guns and ammo across the North American continent these are woefully inadequate tools for the unique jobs undertaken by Sarah Connor. As Sarah begins her corporate restructuring this inadequacy needs addressing thoroughly both to achieve her long term corporate objectives and to protect her business as it is remodelled in line with her new business plan and structures.
A range of tools might be developed to deal with the competition including the aforementioned acid shower method, refinements thereof and further developments which take account of the vulnerabilities of the competitor’s product line. Although the competitor’s products appear to be quite daunting they, like any physical product, still have vulnerabilities based on physics and chemistry. For example, by careful analysis one might see that any machine, irrespective of size and sophistication, is vulnerable to electric, electro-magnetic cyber shock and intrusion. On a mechanical level simple but effective methods such a concentrated high explosive bullets, acid bullets can be adopted on a larger-scale than currently used. A range of further innovations can be devised by carrying out thorough analysis of past experience and embedding this into Sarah’s R&D programme.
Sarah’s current business model remains highly vulnerable and lacking in the capabilities to guarantee her key corporate aims of keeping the entire human species alive. She remains highly dependent on outside aid at key moments in her market engagement. Failure of this support, or subversion by the competition, could easily result in the complete ruin of her current model.
To achieve her objectives she needs to upgrade all her products, tools, business organisation and processes, capitalising on her thirty-five years’ experience and bringing in additional specialist staff and resources to the new model. This may require acquisition of additional resources either by direct actions or outside injections of supporting aid, both financial and technical.
The prospects are there for a successful campaign against current and near future competitors, but we must acknowledge that Sarah’s unique market is in a continuous state of evolution as one major competitor is replaced by another with more resources and levels of aggression. For Sarah to succeed in her principal objectives she needs to create a sustainable and growing organisation capable of guaranteeing success under all conditions and adapting to new challenges the moment they appear. The lone wolf model is unsustainable in the long term as repetitions of the Judgement Day scenario repeatedly prove.
We will have to wait on further developments to see what the future holds.
About The Author
Michael Bond writes science fiction in his spare time when not working to save the world with his Batmobile-inspired supercar the Rumbler 505 Sport Tank. You can enjoy more of his writing with the free sample film script on his film-making site: https://norfilms.sterlingsecure.co.uk/predator-hunt/
His most recent publication is the science fiction story “Dragon’s Vale” inspired as a speculative alternative vision for a sequel to the legendary “Lord Of The Rings” and available as an #ebook or #kindle at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/979417
He is currently not being chased by robots from the future.