Why Bitcoin loses to Amex

I’ve seen a lot lately about Bitcoin.  To be clear, before I start… I think Bitcoin is an amazing phenomenon, amazing technology, and will probably end up being a historically significant failed first step at a truly digital currency and serve as a beginner’s blueprint for future governments (or other organizations whose primary function is the application of force).

Now… onto the nonsense.

Claim:  Bitcoin could help small and large businesses save TONS of money on credit card fees!!!  It’s nearly free!

Nonsense.

The “transaction cost” of a credit card transaction is damn near zero.  Do you REALLY think it takes Amex or Visa a lot of effort to say “OK subtract $40.56 from this guy and credit $40.56 to this guy”?

Of course not.  The transaction is already digital.  The currency is already digital.  There is no cost.  Don’t believe me… open a Venmo account and pay me $5.  I’ll send you $5 back and it won’t cost either of us a dime.  

This is digital debit/credit without the overhead of miners having to verify the work.

OK then Andy… if the transaction doesn’t cost CC companies anything, then why am I paying 1.9%+.25 to accept a credit card??

Because it ain’t about YOU, son.  You see, you’ve flipped things all upside down.  This is about your customer…who also happens to be American Express’s customer.  

To prove this is simple:  When is the last time you heard someone say “please pay me with credit card rather than cash?”  Right— never.

Now… when is the last time you heard someone say “do you accept Amex?”  Probably every single day if you’re a successful small business.

CC companies do ALL of these things for your customer that Bitcoin does NOT :

1.  Allow your customer to pay you with debt.  Note:  This is extremely beneficial to you as well, as it makes your goods a multiple more affordable without YOU becoming a creditor to each customer.  Think about that.

2.  Provide your customer with an INSANE level of highly sophisticated fraud prevention and recovery that makes your customer more likely to purchase from little old unknown YOU.

3. Rewards your customer for using their payment method.  Bitcoin bonus points that let me go to Paris next year might be in the future, but they won’t come free.

Credit cards make your customers happy.  THAT is why they win, and you pay them to participate.

The “launch party” for Disney Brothers Studio.
They were nervous.

It’s no secret that we were sticking just about every nickel we had on the chance that people would really be interested in something totally new and unique in the field of entertainment.

They were down…

Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.

But they knew….

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

They ignored…

I am not influenced by the techniques or fashions of any other motion picture company.
We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.

They believed…

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

and there is no “done”…

Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.

Build what you believe in.  Believe in what you build.  
Ignore them all.
Never finish.
Win.

The “launch party” for Disney Brothers Studio.

They were nervous.

It’s no secret that we were sticking just about every nickel we had on the chance that people would really be interested in something totally new and unique in the field of entertainment.

They were down…

Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.

But they knew….

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

They ignored…

I am not influenced by the techniques or fashions of any other motion picture company.

We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.

They believed…

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.

and there is no “done”…

Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.

Build what you believe in.  Believe in what you build.  

Ignore them all.

Never finish.

Win.

Make some noise
When the facts are on your side, pound the facts.  When the facts are against you, pound the table.
Some ideas don’t work.  The market isn’t ready for them or doesn’t want them.  You can tell when every “sale” is a grind.  The plow is just too heavy.
Admit it:  You’re already dead.
That’s when you get a little crazy.
Radical shift.  Not to the product (if you think it’s good)…but to the process.  Break the rules. Complete change of target, price or distribution system.
Make some noise.  Get loud.  Every piece of momentum gets a touchdown dance.  See who dances with you.
Lever up.  Put everything into the one thing that works.  Everything. 
There is no excuse for a startup dying quietly.  
That’s pride.  Newsflash— she isn’t gonna dance with the guy slinking off in the corner.
Put it all out there.
Die loudly.
Win.

Make some noise

When the facts are on your side, pound the facts.  When the facts are against you, pound the table.

Some ideas don’t work.  The market isn’t ready for them or doesn’t want them.  You can tell when every “sale” is a grind.  The plow is just too heavy.

Admit it:  You’re already dead.

That’s when you get a little crazy.

  1. Radical shift.  Not to the product (if you think it’s good)…but to the process.  Break the rules. Complete change of target, price or distribution system.

  2. Make some noise.  Get loud.  Every piece of momentum gets a touchdown dance.  See who dances with you.

  3. Lever up.  Put everything into the one thing that works.  Everything. 

There is no excuse for a startup dying quietly.  

That’s pride.  Newsflash— she isn’t gonna dance with the guy slinking off in the corner.

Put it all out there.

Die loudly.

Win.

Big companies fear you.  Let me repeat that.  Big companies fear you.
You’re fast, they’re slow.  You’re nimble, they’re not.  You’re innovating, they’re conference-calling.
Yes, their mass makes them extremely powerful.  They can monetize FAR better than you can even dream of.  That’s what they do… they push the big lever that works really well.
But if you’re smart and stay in the blue ocean, they can’t touch you.  They know it.  
That’s why they need you.  They need you to find a new lever that works.  They need you to show them the way through dangerous new water.
Don’t compete on the big levers.  Find the small ones that work and grow them.
Win.

Big companies fear you.  Let me repeat that.  Big companies fear you.

You’re fast, they’re slow.  You’re nimble, they’re not.  You’re innovating, they’re conference-calling.

Yes, their mass makes them extremely powerful.  They can monetize FAR better than you can even dream of.  That’s what they do… they push the big lever that works really well.

But if you’re smart and stay in the blue ocean, they can’t touch you.  They know it.  

That’s why they need you.  They need you to find a new lever that works.  They need you to show them the way through dangerous new water.

Don’t compete on the big levers.  Find the small ones that work and grow them.

Win.

Push the levers that work.
Too many entrepreneurs do the opposite.  They have a grand plan, and then only a couple parts of it work.  So they spend all their time trying to figure out how to get the other parts to work.
Instead, focus on the stuff that does work.  Leverage that to the hilt, and cut the rest. 
It’s really difficult to do.  It can hurt the ego.  But it helps you win.  
Win > Ego
Win.
p.s.  you would be shocked to learn how many Swantastic Startups subscribers are winning….and winning big.  You really should be among them.

Push the levers that work.

Too many entrepreneurs do the opposite.  They have a grand plan, and then only a couple parts of it work.  So they spend all their time trying to figure out how to get the other parts to work.

Instead, focus on the stuff that does work.  Leverage that to the hilt, and cut the rest. 

It’s really difficult to do.  It can hurt the ego.  But it helps you win.  

Win > Ego

Win.

p.s.  you would be shocked to learn how many Swantastic Startups subscribers are winning….and winning big.  You really should be among them.