How To Build A Business You Deserve
🔪Bring a knife to a gunfight seldom ends well for the knife person 🔫. Besides sword masters 🥷, it’s better not to take Self-Drivings car as a “PC business” 😉.
Easy for me to say, the question is how. Obviously, a “good” strategy has to be different for each player to fit better for their unique context. Nevertheless, there could be a few useful heuristics: pursuing adjacent opportunities, moving forward Toyota Kata style, working backward with clarity & redefining business boundaries.
Pursue Adjacent Opportunities
There have been many theories that suggest innovations at the edge have a better chance to disrupt. In the book: Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson provides great insights into how one may do so. tl;dr exploring adjacent possibilities, patiently connecting slow hunches & mixing disciplines. You’ve to keep trying because while others see errors and failures, we look for serendipity. So why not start asking: what new or where overlapped possibilities are emerging today, those were “crazy” yesterday?
Move Forward Toyota-Kata Style
One more practical trick is TK, which may operationalize the adjacent opportunity theory. Strongly recommend trying it out for your next joinery to an ambiguity and audacity vision, tl;dr
- Define the vision, aka your north star.
- Explore, learn & navigate to the best next Target Condition beyond the current known-unknown. Which gets you closer to the north start & expends your Knowledge Threshold.
- Iterate until you reach a desirable destination.
One great thing about this is as you move to a new TC. Which is already a better place than where you used to be. Similar to other sayings such as challenging the status quo or pushing the envelope. The hard true is “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, either such kind of processes. Rather, it’s a “work-style”: day-in & day-out.
Working Backwards With Clarity
The best way to start an endgame right, is to end the mid-game well.
- Sam Lin
Amazon’s Working Backwards provides good ways to thrive in ambiguity. Most of the time, it’s not too difficult to get people exciting about a vision. But it’s very difficult to materialize an audacity one and bring many people on the same page. To deal with that, Amazon typically starts from the desired customer experience & works backward to figure out a proper solution. By creating Press Release & Frequent Ask Question for a new product, the desire experience, and important details are materialized.
One more bonus point, use the retrograde analysis to avoid pitfalls for thinking fast, aka System 1.
Redefine Business Boundaries
Most successful businesses succeed because they are good at capturing value from established value chains. Consequently, it’s difficult for a new player to compete on such value chains. So don’t as Peter Thiel suggests: competition is for losers. The book: Blue Ocean Shift provides useful frameworks for new players who dare to redefine market boundaries. Similarly you can also redefine business boundaries. tl;dr
- Prepare your business model & boundaries. For example, the Business Model Canvas is a good starting point.
- Revisit it to apply Eliminate, Reduce, Raise & Create actions to scale value creating, delivering & capturing.
- Validate, Learn & Repeat.
In the process, 2 more bonus points can make the transformation richer.
- Focus on the intrinsic value in users’ terms. The Buyer Utility Map from the book is a good tool to keep you to stay on the right course.
- Disintermediation opportunities from digital transformation & automation.
The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company. They are mostly extrapolations from public information. I don’t have insider knowledge of those companies, nor an EV expert.