Why Your Great Business Idea Is Not Worth Much

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I was finally done, on Sunday morning, with my 5,000 words essay assignment. But as it now constantly is with my professional life, I have another 2,000 words essay due today. I'm already at 1,200 words; almost done. Then I have another 4,000 words essay to get done on or before Friday.

Just yesterday, I wrote the remaining 1,500 words to complete the 5,000 words assignment; I spent a few hours fixing a program I made for a big client that would be sent to the management for sign off (according to them) today, after several weeks of testing and changes; I helped a friend in the US with her problematic masters assignment (mostly the charts part) and I began another 2,000 words essay. In all I worked from early morning till way past mid-night. But I am glad I met all the deadlines. Oh, and I also sold a customer an iTunes gift card (I sell e-gift cards, in case you need one).

Well, today's post is an adaptation of the 2,000 words assignment I am doing. The assignment is on strategy formulation for the 21st century organizations. And in the course of my intense research and reading, I came across many interesting texts. I will be narrowing on one insight I got from the texts. It perfectly explains why the business ideas you come up with are almost useless and why all those fancy acronym analysis of business are not often useful. I mean SWOT, PEST and PESTLE.

So here we go.

The business world is now a very fast changing one and also unpredictable. The business strategy approach that relied heavily on in-depth analytically thinking about the business' internal capabilities (strengths and weaknesses) and external circumstance (threats and opportunities) to come up with a fully formed business strategy/proposal are no longer useful except for competitions and investor wooing. No detailed plan can survive the test of the reality in the current business world. No company can know its strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities just by thinking, analysing past events and predicting future ones. It will have to let the market show it its strength and weakness, by testing all its assumptions before taking them as valid. And any list of threats and opportunities will be obsolete very fast that it's not worth making any detailed long-term strategy on. 

The current business world only allows for a learning organization. An organization that is constantly adapting, processing lots of feedback from its marketplace and learning rather than just thinking out strategies. So the current business world has no place for untested ideas, ideas that are detached from the reality and formulated entirely on a structured thinking process. Which, unfortunately, is where all your great business ideas fall as long as you haven't tested them in the marketplace. 

The world has changed, and the businesses that are now flourishing are the ones that followed no rigid business plan but kept pivoting based on the learning they are getting from the marketplace. So whatever business idea you have, don't think too highly of it until you find a way to test it out in the marketplace.


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