What is a Rabbit? The letters are an acronym of its key features:
While the acronym is rather contrived ('real' and 'actual' are synonyms, 'business' is a generic descriptor and it's not easy to find any business that is not, to at least some extent, 'interesting'), the idea is worth bearing in mind. As Sanwal explains, 2016 will not be the year of the Unicorpses (dead unicorns) -- but it will be the year in which we may be separating the rabbits from some Unicorpses. Shead quotes Sanwal's words:
“With 152 (Unicorns), there will of course be some flame-outs or those that run into issues. These are not riskless bets after all. ... While it’s ‘fun’ in a schadenfreud’y way to claim some absurd number of Unicorns will falter in 2016, it misses out on the fact that 2016’s climate may force many of these Unicorns to become Rabbits.”The precise mechanism by which Unicorns metamorphose into Rabbits is not spelled out. Some may simply shrink as investor commitment decreases in order to fall in line with a company's intellectual assets and competitiveness rather than hugging the contours of its cash assets or focusing on a market potential that is easier to identify than to fulfil.
There are however two certainties. The first is that the role played by patent analytics in guiding both businesses and their investors will increase rather than diminish, as competitors' patents provide a set of hedges and hurdles which Unicorns must navigate if they have insufficient IP to protect their own growth or cross-license to others.
The second is that, now that Unicorns have been joined by Rabbits, there will be a rash of acronyms as pundits and commentators seek to make a name for themselves. How long will it be before we see the rise of the Badger, the Mongoose and the Wombat? Readers are invited to submit their own suggestions ...