Conventional thinking argues that business is a finite game played in stable and well-defined industries where winner companies develop and sustain a competitive advantage over rivals. Lately, even being different, competing and winning is no longer enough. You have to disrupt something. It seams that ‘disruption’ is the buzzword to define the new mantra of business today, which means taking the ideal of competition to the extreme. In short, the purpose of any company has historically been focused on making money by competing much better than others.
But is that the only way of doing business? And is that the wisest way? In my opinion, no. Competition is only half of the picture when it comes to explaining how companies become successful. The other, much more thought-provoking, half occurs when making money is the result and people are the true purpose. It’s the other way around, when business is an infinite game based on hugely improving people’s lives at a profit. With this idea, the intention of strategy mutates from competition to creation. You must create, not compete for what is already created.
This idea is the cornerstone of my last book ‘Value Hacking‘, which is a personal point of view on business strategy that could help people improve their odds of success in any business venture. Value Hacking is a strategic framework that aims primarily at shaping, scaling and dominating your own value game, rather than competing in the game you find.
Essentially, Value Hacking seeks the perfect balance between what is experientially singular and what is technically scalable and economically sustainable. For practical purposes, it might be easily remembered through the ‘3S of strategy: singularity, scalability and sustainability’. Therefore, structurally, the framework consists of a problem solving approach in three dimensions that identifies all the key elements that can be strategically shapeable and groups them into related concepts to easily design and manipulate strategically new value games and their logic of value.
This book draws on everything I’ve learned during over two decades as a strategic consultant to large companies and as an advisor and investor in startups. But while I have discovered many interesting insights, which I try to connect throughout the book, I do not aim to prescribe a universal formula for success. The paradox of talking about creating new things is that such a formula necessarily cannot exist, since every creation is new, singular and unique; nobody can prescribe in absolute terms how to master it.
Indeed, the single most enlightening insight I have discovered during over two decades as an strategic consultant is that business in an infinite game without restrictions where anyone can participate, companies come and go, rules are malleable and shifting, and there are no clear winners and losers. Most successful companies are perpetual mutant organizations that play continuously with game’s boundaries and rules.
That explains that when the result of the creation is something truly singular and valuable there is no room for replication, copycatting and competition. The next big thing will not be another version Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Spotify, Tesla, WeChat or Zara. If you are just copying these companies, your are not learning anything from them. What you can really learn is that everything around you, from the most bright idea to the most beautiful thing, was made by people like you. And you can create new bright ideas to influence people and you can create new beautiful things to delight people.
Life is about creating and playing your own game, not just playing the game you find. Once you realize that, the sky is the limit.
Learn more about Value Hacking
The full-stack strategic framework to shape, scale and dominate your own billion-dollar game in the digital era