Example of Subtle Strategy 🐱‍👤🐱‍👤

May 14, 2021 1:51 pm

Happy Friday,

I've been working on some product strategy for a client and while I was mapping and creating options I felt a sense of defeat.

You see, what I was creating wasn't like most strategies which are little more than tweet-sized platitudes like, "Be the #1 provider of X," or "Delight customers every chance!" What I was creating was a series of moves to make to create a long-term advantageous position.

Consider the case where you have a competitor in a fairly small-ish market. You could do what most groups do and try to compete on brand and feature set. However, what if instead you built a service that your competitor would want and adopt without realizing it. Maybe like custom hosting. You use that hosting to create tremendous friction for your competitor to move away from you and simultaneously and use that same friction they have as a competitive advantage in your own product.

Now, something like that is only a compelling idea in a very specific context, but some of the strategies I created were like this in terms of subtlety and scope. I felt defeated as I created these as many people I work with crave simple answers, and a strategy like this is anything but simple. This brings me to a deeper question:

Are we bad at strategy because of how we crave simplicity?

Unrelated to that I'm trying to get back into public speaking. So here's a recording of a talk I did this Tuesday on how I learned new tech under some intense delivery pressure. Give it a watch and let me know what you think!

Here's my weekly update for May 14th, 2021...

🗒️ I Hate Efficiency


Teams and workplaces talk about efficiency all the time but really mean convenient.

This article exposes the unspoken issues in conversations about efficiency and what to do about it.

Click here to read more


Ryan Latta