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In Ed Driscoll’s latest podcast, James briefly describes what he calls “the drawbridge effect”: successful business owners using their acquired power and resources to prevent others from following their success. Is this scenario truly common? If it is common, is it as selfish as it first appears?
Imagine that you could afford to build a house on a beautiful secluded beach. Soon others discover that shore and more houses are built. Then the condos and hotels come, along with little tourist shops and restaurants. Eventually, home owners are driven out by rising property taxes. Those that remain are faced with a very different beach experience than the one they bought into.
Those early home owners were not buying just any beach. The seclusion was what attracted them. They wanted to sit on their balconies and admire nature, not tourists strolling by. They wanted to casually stroll the sand in search of shells, not race out at sunrise to compete with other shell hunters. They wanted to drive a quiet, uninterrupted road surrounded by dunes and sea oats, not a road packed with traffic and stoplights amid skyscrapers and shopping malls. Most of all, they wanted somewhere they could afford to remain (remember those property taxes).
A simpler example might be a swimming pool. After a point, the more people who use the pool simultaneously, the less attractive it becomes.
When others mimic our accomplishments or activities, those enjoyments do not always remain unchanged. The nature of what we have acquired or built can become very different than the goal we pursued.
I suspect that is as true of business ventures as of property ownership. I welcome examples from your own experience.Published in