Such a simple thing but takes so much to really understand:

An economic franchise arises from a product or service that:

  1. is needed or desired;
  2. is thought by its customers to have no close substitute and
  3. is not subject to price regulation.

The existence of all three conditions will be demonstrated by a company’s ability to regularly price its product or service aggressively and thereby to earn high rates of return on capital. Moreover, franchises can tolerate mis-management. Inept managers may diminish a franchise’s profitability, but they cannot inflict mortal damage.

In contrast, “a business” earns exceptional profits only if it is the low-cost operator or if supply of its product or service is tight. Tightness in supply usually does not last long. With superior management, a company may maintain its status as a low-cost operator for a much longer time, but even then unceasingly faces the possibility of competitive attack. And a business, unlike a franchise, can be killed by poor management.

– Warren Buffett, Shareholder Letter, 1991

Peter Thiel talks about creating monopoly in his book

”What does a company with large cash flows far into the future look like? Every monopoly is unique, but they usually share some combination of the following characteristics: proprietary technology, network effects, economies of scale, and branding.”

”This isn’t a list of boxes to check as you build your business—there’s no shortcut to monopoly. However, analyzing your business according to these characteristics can help you think about how to make it durable.”

– Peter Thiel, “Zero to One”

Credits: Hurricane Capital