Curated Learning Resources
- How to be StrategicJulie explains the components of a "good strategy": it is a set of actions that is credible, coherent and focused on overcoming the biggest hurdle(s) in achieving a particular objective.
- What Is Strategy?Michael Porter argues that the essence of strategy is choosing a unique and valuable position rooted in systems of activities that are much more difficult to match than just pursuing operational effectiveness alone. Porter thus traces the economic basis of competitive advantage down to the level of the specific activities a company performs. Using cases such as Ikea and Vanguard, he shows how making trade-offs among activities is critical to the sustainability of a strategy. While stressing the role of Leadership in making and enforcing clear strategic choices, Porter also offers advice on how companies can reconnect with strategies that have become blurred over time.
- In Defense of Strategy: Execution isn't enoughStrategy is important for startups, especially early on when they have limited resources and time before competition arises. Good strategy involves properly diagnosing the situation, setting a guiding policy to overcome obstacles, and taking coherent actions that build on each other. Most "bad strategy" involves mistaking goals for strategy, ignoring competition, and failing to address the main challenge. Startups should aim to develop moats like scale economies, switching costs, or network effects before their uncertainty window closes. Packy's own experience at Breather shows how a good strategy involving both monthly and hourly bookings helped improve Margins and counter competitors, though the startup ultimately failed due to other factors.