It was a bright, cold day early in February, and the Executive was frowning over his annual report. It didn't look good. In fact, the figures were so bad that he'd arranged for media experts to cope with blatant hints of bankruptcy in the press.
His was a high-tech company losing the battle with competitors on the other side of the Atlantic, a thousand times its size.
Of course, the battle seemed utterly decided, but that didn't mean the Executive would quit.
Quite the opposite.
The Executive and his team found all kinds of clever ways to stop the development of new technologies and business models. That strategy bought the company three essential things:
- The time to get a good return on investment on the losing technology.
- The time to find a new unique, and competitive positioning.
- The time to test and develop new offerings for a market that had yet to emerge.
They played the timing game and did it successfully.
So which clever actions did they decide upon?
- To lobby for limiting regulation.
- To send their technology to slower-developing markets.
- To create spin-offs, spin-outs, spin-ins, and every other kind of spin you could imagine.
Yes, they thoroughly milked their assets and hindered the development of their competitors' assets.
Meanwhile, the Executive gathered his flock to ponder the future of their industry. If today's battle was lost, maybe tomorrow's battle could be won.
To win, they had to find out what tomorrow's industry couldn't do without and then pilot their way toward becoming the necessity supplier. And that's precisely what the company did.
I'm sure all companies facing severe competition, even those outside the high-tech industry, can benefit from playing the timing game.
You see, the winning mindset and the thick skin to go with it helped the Executive and his company play and survive against all odds.
So if you're fighting a losing battle against fierce competition, please understand that your decisions are actions to slow that competition and milk your assets. And don't forget to find a new compelling position simultaneously.
I hope you enjoyed this story and that it helps you make decisions.
Wishing you wisdom,
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