Category Archives: Strategy

In The Future You Are Either a Digital Business or a Dead Business

in the future you are either a digital business or dead businessToday, every business is digital and it’s changing how business is done. But many businesses have yet to wake up and understand this reality. Look at the chart below, I’m sure your business is lacking the digital skills necessary to compete in the information age:

To create a successful business, you sometimes have to break rules. But which ones?

Which rules should we break, but won’t bring our business down if we do? This is a question that not too many businesses ask themselves but should. The simplest answer is to kill some stupid rules, the ones that no one has questioned because “that’s just the way we do things here”; break those and you’ll spark some innovative ideas.

6 of the most common strategy traps

strategy trapsStrategy without change is pointless, and doing what everyone else is doing is not a strategy; it’s a key principle most business people don’t get.

Take the most common advice you hear out there: don’t limit yourself to niche market; you won’t make any money.

There’s no such thing as a perfect strategy

Lëtzebuergesch: De Garri Kasparow géint de Com...

Lëtzebuergesch: De Garri Kasparow géint de Computerprogramm Deep Junior am Januar 2003. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Doing what everyone else is doing is the wrong strategy, and thinking that what made you succeed in the first place will result in success again is a flawed thinking. This is strategy 101, but many don’t heed this principle.

This is a lesson famed Chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov knows all to well. From an HBR interview on what business leaders can learn from him:

Doing what everyone else is doing is the wrong strategy

What do high-flying startups know about growth that others don’t?

According to new research on startup growth, there are ten things high-flying startups do differently to grow quickly. One of them, and it isn’t a surprise, is they change the game by playing by a different set of rules:

None of these breakout companies did it the same way that the incumbents grew in their vertical or type of business. They all picked their own path, often leaving people wondering what they were thinking. HubSpot charged for upfront onboarding, which people thought was a mistake. Turns out it’s a huge piece of their massive retention success.

Yelp stayed away from paying for reviews and wooing food critics, instead focusing 100% on the community above all else. In a landscape where Citysearch and other behemoths catered to businesses and paid for reviews, this seemed almost foolish at the time.

Pretty straightforward, but unfortunately “changing the game” is still very much an anomaly. Why? Because herd mentality is the default setting for most.

One point I strongly make to startups is they need to have a point of view, a set of opinions about what they do; what are they about. Frankly, this is very much a maverick approach to strategy, one where you want to be the only one who does what you do and thus make competition irrelevant.


If you mimic the herd, you'll regress to the mean

Good strategy is about making decisions, about choosing WHAT NOT TO DO as much as WHAT TO DO. Making this decision is critical for high-growth startups, and for yours too.

Bottom line: If you mimic the herd, you’ll regress to the mean. Aim to be the only one, not just another one.

18 questions for crystallizing strategy

strategy is a guide to behaviorDid I ever tell you I love questions? I ask them constantly, and collect them intensely. For the purpose of culture, leadership, strategy and innovation, there are many types of questions that if used correctly can help you see a challenge from different perspectives that may lead to developing unique solutions; the types that can be revolutionary.