Why Did Ofo Fail? What Should They Have Done? (Jeff’s Asia Tech Class – Podcast 8)

In this class, we discuss Chinese bike-sharing company Ofo. And their spectacular rise and fall.

You can listen here or at iTunes here.

The exercise for this class is:

What should Ofo have done?

1) Partner with a major digital platform ASAP. No matter what it takes.

2) Copy Hellobike. Avoid the competition. Go to markets or segments with little competition and try to get to operating break-even.

3) Split the company into a good co and bad co. Fund the good company and don’t tie it to the cash drain of the bad co.

4) Carl Icahn option. Go activist investor and try to split the company, replace management or other.

What would you recommend to the CEO?

  • Write 3 paragraphs with your answer. Do it on your smartphone. Or a PC. Or a piece of paper (take a picture and save it).
  • Think about bundling and the emergence of greater ecosystems.

Here is the McKinsey & Co slide cited:

Articles / podcasts cited in this class:

Concepts for this class:

  • Money Wars
  • Ecosystems
  • Bundling
  • Willingness to Pay and Consumer Surplus

Companies for this class:

  • Ofo
  • Mobike / Meituan
  • Hellobike / Alibaba


I write, speak and consult about how to win (and not lose) in digital strategy and transformation.

I am the founder of TechMoat Consulting, a boutique consulting firm that helps retailers, brands, and technology companies exploit digital change to grow faster, innovate better and build digital moats. Get in touch here.

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Note: This content (articles, podcasts, website info) is not investment advice. The information and opinions from me and any guests may be incorrect. The numbers and information may be wrong. The views expressed may no longer be relevant or accurate. Investing is risky. Do your own research.

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