How do companies maintain dominance in an industry, or various industries, over long periods of time? It comes down to positions of power. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Disney and any other well known brand that has dominated their respective industry have done so by owning a few sources of power.
We all have moments where we lose track of things, where we lose our mind and say things we should’t say. A few months ago, during a call with a client, the CEO of the organization did just that. For the last 6 months I’ve been consulting for this organization, helping them think and develop a new strategic direction, and culture to support that direction.
Throughout the school year a university in Mexico, Cetys, invited experts from outside to come to campus and talk about different topics to its students. I was invited to talk about disruptive innovation, but the COVID-19 virus changed that and classes and all other activities were cancelled.
A few years ago I was asked to give a speech to a group of entrepreneurs on their way to Startup Chile. As part of my talk they asked me to write a list of 3 to 5 things that I do to be successful. While I did do that list, I explicitly said “I can tell you my 3 to 5 things I do on a daily basis but that’s what works for me, in the context of my life, my personality and mindset.”
There are many businesses that start out filling a need for a specific type of customer. Sometimes this leads to the creation of a new industry or segment that was ignored or unserved by incumbents.
If the business does everything right, they will be the leader for that new category, segment or industry. The problem arises when that leader stops paying attention to what started it all: the customer.
I’ve had many meetings with principals in large organizations and companies who say, “I am worried my business will be completely replaced by some Silicon Valley startup. How can I build something to counter that?”
Every organizations lives and dies by its strategy. What makes a good strategy? The best strategies are simple and answer 5 fundamental questions: who, what, where, how and why.
Still, developing a strategy is hard. There’s a tendency to make it a very complex activity, which I believe drives most organizations to fall for many traps; one being the the copy-paste approach.
Startups, by their very nature, do not fall for this trap. But this doesn’t mean their path to victory will be easier; but much more harder.