Destroy Your Business To Future Proof It – The New Mantra For Success – Strategy With RS

Friends, do you know the new mantra for success?

Actively work towards killing your own business. Why this belligerent attitude towards your own creation?

Because of the changing face of competition.

Earlier ‘competition’ was direct and visible. Now it has become cross-industry (indirect) and invisible. Therefore it is very difficult to anticipate the onslaught from an ‘invisible’ competitor. Result: Most of the time the victim is caught off-guard and in many cases, they just disappear, without even leaving a trace!

Has any company suffered this fate, because they did not pay heed to this new rule?

A host of companies have had to face the ignominy of having to loose their pre-eminent market leadership position by either getting bought out (Nokia) to file for bankruptcy (Kodak) or have face the ignominy of plunging valuation – Pebble (from $740 million to $40 million), Yahoo (from $ 44.6 billion to $4.8 billion) & Groupon (from $6 billion to $2.3 billion).

Has any company proactively embraced this belligerent strategy & thrived?

Facebook has! It has made this and more a part of every employees mandate.

How does FB ensure that this strategy is executed successfully?

FB decided to come out with a book, titled Facebook’s Little Red Book, which it gives to all its new employees – since 2012, the year that it hit its 1 billionth-user milestone. This booklet contains a compilation of company’s ideas & culture & expects its employees to live by it!

Let me give you a glimpse of guiding principles, which Facebook expects its employees to live by, as shared in the Little Red Book:

1. Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected

2. Changing how people communicate will always change the world.
Greatness and comfort rarely co-exist

3. The quick shall inherit the earth: Fast is better than slow! Those who ship quickly can improve quickly. So the fast doesn’t just win the race. It gets a head start for the next one.

4. When you don’t realise what you can’t do, you can do some pretty cool stuff.

5. Remember people don’t use Facebook because they like us. They use it because they like their friends

6. We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services

7. If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will: ‘Embracing change’ isn’t enough. It has to be hardwired into who we are that even talking about it seems redundant. The Internet is not a friendly place. Things that don’t stay relevant don’t even get the luxury of leaving ruins. They disappear.

Want to protect your business from the fate of Nokia and Kodak and imbibe the proactive thinking of Facebook? If yes, then I would invite you to read my article published on Founding Fuel, titled, ‘Disrupt or destroy your business to make it stronger.’ This article is embellished with examples drawn from Amazon, Netflix so that you get a good idea on how these companies successfully disturbed / destroyed their own business to future proof it. Then you too can conceptualise a strategy to future proof your business!




About the Author:


In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.