June 13, 2014

Stragedy: Tragic end of bad strategy

I'm usually a very optimistic kind of guy. I like thinking about positive outcomes, and how to create them for my clients.

But today, Friday the 13th, seemed like an appropriate day to be thinking about startup failures, and why they occur. The importance of strategy crossed my mind as being of great importance. Then the thought of flawed strategy, so common in startup land, got me to playing with a new word, a portmanteau of strategy and tragedy; kind of a tongue-twister: stragedy.

At first, I thought that it was the Bushism (strategery) but that didn't express the disaster of poorly thought-out strategy. I found the word at Urban Dictionary!

a plan that has the conviction of forethought, 
but which is so disastrous 
it begs for hindsight before it is even implemented.

How many startups have you seen that were merely features that could easily be programmed into existing businesses? These business models that recreate another product but with only one small feature to differentiate the product are a sure recipe for failure.

Or a startup team that has no experience whatsoever in the business they are trying to disrupt. 

Many startups are based on a product idea that has never been validated in the marketplace.

But let's not focus so much on the bad strategies; let's consider how to create good ones. Check out these resources:

The Perils of Bad Strategy - a quick read that includes definitions, examples of good and bad strategy and thoughts on "the kernel of good strategy"