Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal, early facebook investor, uses this term to describe the opportunity created by not competing, not being pushed into the competitive funnel of beating the other guy, rather they prosper by looking for ways to be different, to see an opportunity and grab it, rather than just doing incrementally better than the other guy at leveraging an established product category, business model, or process.
As an investor, he looks to invest in businesses where the founder has a clear view of the future, where the crystal ball has been rubbed and delivered a picture that makes sense, and disrupts the status quo, even if it has not been even contemplated before.
This story of Facebook turning down a billion dollars from Yahoo when it was still in Zuckerbergs Harvard dorm is instructive, and is perhaps a pointer to why Thiel has such a stellar track record. However, the simple notion of investing in businesses where there is no competition, where a creative monopoly exists, is compelling, and is one that should have far wider appreciation that in a VC appraisal. The successful business strategy book “Blue Ocean Strategy” is a tome that makes the same point in 300 pages, and has spawned an industry, so something must be working.
How are you developing your own creative monopoly? You do not have to be a multinational. Several local SME’s I have contact with have successfully created their own creative monopoly in their area, carved out a niche where the competition is minimal, and are doing very well.