As I've been debating some different business models and where to go next, I've been thinking a lot about execution. You see, ever since I wrote my college business plan and another company actually tried it, I've become convinced that ideas are a dime a dozen. Lots of people have lots of good ideas. And, while a good idea might be necessary for a successful business, it isn't sufficient. Economies are too chaotic. As a result, small differences in business models, small tweaks in existing ideas, small changes of some kind can lead to huge differences in outcomes (market share, profit, etc.).
Thus, I believe that execution is really the important thing in a business. That's the thing people struggle with. It's easy to have an idea. It's hard to work on it day in and day out when things are going wrong and you are tired and not making any money. It's also hard to get people to agree on where to go and what to do, which complicates execution further. As I've thought about this, I've debated (like I have many times in the past on this blog) the importance of strategy vs. execution. Those thoughts carried me back to ideas about open source business. Which led me to pose the following question. Can a company be entirely open about it's strategy and still be #1 in a market? Could upper management blog each day about decisions they have made and still run a good company?
Part of me thinks yes they could. After all, everyone knows Southwest Airlines' strategy, yet they continue to be profitable when others lose money. Everyone knows (in general) what Warren Buffett looks for in companies and how successful he has been for decades, yet people still believe in technical analysis and short-term trading. Part of me thinks that strategy doesn't matter because competitors are likely to think your strategy sucks anyway. But I keep thinking that if I ran a major company and had access to everything my competitors were doing, I could crush them with that information. But if they execute better than me, could I really do that?
Sometimes I wish I could be normal and wake up thinking about breakfast instead of shit like this. If I didn't have this blog as an outlet for my ramblings, I'd probably be in therapy.