Bermuda Triangle of Strategy by Porter

Who knew Knowledge@Wharton would have good articles these days? When it first started, it was kinda of a self-promotional spam-letter. But these days, its actually somethign I scan everytime it arrives in my inbox.

In the Internet world, eitherthe “Pie” is still growing so fast that competitors often dont really compete directly OR the “Pie” is so small no amount of optimizing can help any company win. (How many times have you seen a “space” completely disappear along with every company in it. . . gorilla game with bunch of monkeys. . .) As a result it seems like being the BEST is the ONLY strategy that all these web startups can pursing. (as seen in the continuous feature-one-ups-manship).

It is possible that because the industry changes so fast that the competitive landscape is continually defined and consumer taste always shifting; and as a result, competition never reaches the point of saturation for segmentation to really matter. (atleast not until the company is worth a few billion dollars and public).

In the end, it seems like the hard part is betting on the right horse (aka segment) which drives your strategic choices and align your operations. However, if the company picks a slower growing segment than its competitor . . . all is lost . . . perhaps than the hardest part of “strategy” as defined by Porter is “who you want to serve” . . .

Why Re-orgs are Fun!

Re-orgs can be fun. . . really they can be! . . . part II of the series.

1. China is the next big thing, talent level uneven, and everyone gets a title inflation. Plus, Baidu/Alibaba/QQ/Netease loves to hire people from their American competitors and give them a VP/CxO title.

2. Its about time you get a new powerpoint template that wasnt made by the founders 10 years ago

3. Cleaning cubes - finding cash hidden at back of drawers, throwing out useless decks, finding your long lost garage door opener . . .

4. Headhunter who call and forces you out of your inertia to explore opportunities

5. Rumors, rumors, rumors . . . talking about rumors, regurgiation rumors, even making up some of your own. What do you care? you have millions at the bank and on first name basis with David/Jerry/Larry/Sergei/Meg/Pierre.

6. Underground re-org betting pool - when, who, how

7. You love your boss, but its time to expand your sphere of influence. Re-orgs can be a good excuse to find a new position in a different part of the company without ruffling feathers.

8. Tides turn, you were “one of the ten” left in the last re-org, but this time, you all of sudden get your own team

9. Touching or funny farewell emails

10. New asses to kiss