Why winners sometimes take all, and sometimes don’t

Lessons from ecology’s “competitive exclusion principle”

A couple days ago I had a chat with an executive in media about the bundling strategy at Everything. The executive said a lot of interesting things on that call, but there was one phrase that particularly piqued my interest:

“The Competitive Exclusion Principle”

At one point, I was explaining how a goal at Everything is to fund people to write essays of greater depth and polish than is possible if they had to publish weekly, and that maybe this could be a compounding advantage for us — the bigger we get, the more we can invest in great writing and thinking, the more subscribers we attract, the more we can invest, the harder it might become for lower-cost writing to compete. He nodded his head and said, “Ah, yes, the competitive exclusion principle!” He said it a couple of times like this, and in each instance my ears pricked up. 

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