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Business strategy is more of an art than a science. In short, a business strategy starts with a series of assumptions about how the business world looks like in a certain period of time and for a certain target of people. Whether those assumptions will turn out to be successful will highly depend on several factors.
For instance, back in the late 1990s when the web took over, new startups came up with the idea of revolutionizing many services. While those ideas seemed to make sense, they turned out to be completely off, and many of those startups failed in what would be recognized as a dot-com bubble.
While in hindsight certain aspects of that bubble came up (like frauds, or schemes), in general, some of the ideas for which startups got financed seemed to be visionary and turned out to work a decade later (see DoorDash, or Instacart, in relation to Webvan’s bankruptcy).
For instance, some startups tried to bring on-demand streaming on the web (which today we call Netflix). Those ideas proved to be too early. They made sense but from the commercial standpoint, they didn’t. Thus, if we were to use the scientific method, once those assumptions would have proved wrong in the real world, we would have discarded them.
However, those assumptions proved to be wrong, in that time period, given the current circumstances. While we can use the scientific inquiry process in business strategy, it’s hard to say that it is a scientific discipline. So what’s the use of business strategy? In my opinion, business strategy is useful for three main reasons:
● Focus: choose one path over another.
● Vision: have a long-term strategic goal.
● Commercial viability: create a self-sustainable business.
As a practitioner, someone who tries to build successful businesses, I don’t need to be “scientific.” I need to make sure not to be completely off track. For that matter, I aim at creating businesses. Thus, I need to understand where to focus my attention in a relatively long period of time (3-5 years at least) and make sure that those ideas I pursue are able to generate profits, which – in my opinion – might be a valid indicator that those ideas are correct for the time being.
If those conditions are met, I’ll call it a “successful business.” Those ideas will become a business model that executes a business strategy. This doesn’t mean those ideas, turned into a business model, pushed into the world will always be successful (profitable). As the marketplace evolves I will need to adjust, and tweak a business model to fit with the new evolving scenarios, and I’ll need to be able to “bet” on new possible business models.
The FourWeekMBA Approach
The business world is extremely noisy.
So how do we make sense of it?
The path ahead for better decision-making for many is about using complex models and searching for more data. However, there is also another approach.
That is about reducing complexity by using strategy tools for your business.
Who is this book for?
The content part of the book is well suited for several use cases. Whether you are a professor who needs ideas for the classes, a business student wanting to take the business knowledge to the net level, an entrepreneur looking for various ways business can be done, aspiring entrepreneur, analyst, product developer, investor, venture capitalist, or just, like me, an extremely curious person, you’re in the right place.
How to read this book
This book has been thought on purpose in a format that doesn’t require it to be read in order. There is no precise storyline. Instead, you can go through it depending on your curiosity, needs, and also randomly, if you wish.
You will learn valuable business strategy tools by going through it at your own pace.
- 317 pages.
- 90,000 words (ninety thousand words).
- 100+ Strategy Tools.
- Hundreds of images.
- And original analyses by FourWeekMBA.
For any question, ping us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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