Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Dao of Strategic Assessment (6): After the Assessment

Most larger opposition usually have bigger budgets and a large strategic network. No matter how large the opposition is, they can be beaten. The question is do you have the time, the resources and the patience to compete against them?

Once the assessment of each competitor is completed (
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, etc. ) what is your next step?

We recommend the building of a strategic overview that defines your priorities, your approaches and the "possible" circumstances. It helps to know your tangible timeline, the amount of available resources, your
strengths, your weaknesses, the opportunities and the threats of your opposition, etc.

With the right process and plan, the priority objective of the consummate strategist is to find the gaps inside the competition's strategy and the grand settings while completing the target.

The "idea" approach is to focus on indirect confrontation. It does take some time of planning and preparation. From our experience, the benefits are fantastic.


The following material on the various strategic approaches is from

1: Drag Race Play: Pick a competitor and try to beat it in head-on competition.


With the Drag Race Play approach, one picks one competitor to compare himself to and then
you put all you have into beating them across the finish line.

2: Stealth Play: Stay under the radar.

Sneak behind the competition's back and then focus on gaining on the competition incrementally. 90 percent of startups begin in this stealth mode.
This play is almost the opposite of the Drag Race. When you are running the stealth mode, you are trying to avoid getting squashed by the competition. Generally you focus on a specific niche where you can build your strength unnoticed. You often add-on, peacefully coexist and even draft behind the would-be biggest competitor(s), avoiding drag races completely. Until you have what it takes to move onto another more open and larger play.

3: Platform Play: Develop an alliance with people who you trust.
Allow them to succeed w/ you.
The Platform Play enables you to rise above the competition, or even co-opt them. You win by becoming a Platform from which everyone can win too. By making it easy and profitable for others to ally with you and painful for them to let you loose, you will win.

4. The Best of Both Play

You offer the other party a choice of "near the best" to the low end.

5. The High-Low Play

This play is basically the opposite of the Best of Both Play. Here, instead of offering a combination that collapses the extremes of a category, you emphasize the importance of choice. You offer both extremes, no compromises and a migration path between them. A composite macro choice that can be both a large-margin choice for those who can afford it and a low-end object that does a lot for most people.

In this situation, you present the other party a choice of two (to three) options and they have to make a choice.

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