March 11, 2018

Strategy is a bet

Strategy is about the future.

You can’t know the right strategy. You have to place a bet. You have to take a risk.

Which is to say:

Your strategy could be wrong.

You can’t analyze your way to a strategy. Data is useful for many things but it is by definition historical. It’s about the past.

Analyzing the past to predict the future will only work if the future turns out to be the same as the past.

This is useful in some domains (e.g., physics, engineering), but is not so useful in others (e.g., business, politics).

To come up with a business strategy, you need some imagination or a vision or a mission or a big idea or a gut instinct that gives you a certain degree of confidence about the likely state of things in the future.

But ultimately, this future state is unknowable. You have to take a leap of faith. This leap is scary, so most people don’t do it.

What do they do instead?

They obsess over tactics.



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