Which types of businesses have survived that surprise you?
Answer by Drew Steig – Quoras Own Start Up & Small Business Guru
Answer originally posted on Quora.Com
Many businesses survive inexplicably. Some seem to, like a drowning person, cling to life with their last ounce of strength. Ill mention a few here.
- Insurance companies. This one isn’t so hard to understand, but it is a bit of a headscratcher to me as to how they survive in their current model. Take car insurance for example. It survives, despite the fact that its incredibly inefficient in its execution, because it makes sense, and because it stays profitable by royally screwing its customers. It jacks up its prices, increases every year even if you have a perfect driving record, and heaven forbid you actually try to use it, they will squirm their way out of paying you anything close to the value of your car. Why do we continue using these companies… because we have to… money leeches that you’ll go to jail if you don’t fork over a big chunk of change too.
- Pornography. I just don’t understand it. I don’t judge anyone who uses it, I just don’t understand why people would rather jerk off than go have sex with a real person. I mean even if your ugly and have no game, I guarantee you there is someone else out there of your preferred sex, who is also ugly and has no game, that with a little bit of effort you could have sex with.
- Fast food restaurants. About 30–40 years ago, fast food made sense. It was very lucrative and employed mainly high school students. Now people of all ages rely on it as a primary source of income. Minimum wage has shot through the roof, food prices have risen and you are lucky to get 10–15% as a profit margin. I know a lot of companies are automating, something I predicted was a 20-30 year inevitability about 10 years ago, but that comes with its own challenges. Top all this off with an instant loss of customers if they even think about raising their prices, and the whole field is a disaster.
I know these aren’t specific companies, but I think it still answers the question well.