1, #27 - What is Strategy?
On what not to do — Estimated Read Time: 40 seconds.
I remember being in a meeting once, advocating for a particular strategy, when the company leader stopped me: “You’re always talking about strategy… What is strategy, really?”
How would you have responded?
While it’s tempting to reduce the concept to something like “planning,” there’s more to it than that. So I've been searching for a concise, insightful answer ever since.
This week, I think I found it.
In 1996, Professor Michael Porter wrote what seems to be the definitive article on this topic. His conclusion is striking: “Strategy is making trade-offs … The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
Which makes this another lesson in prioritization. Which means, even if you don’t care about business strategy, you should still consider: Since we all have limited time & resources—what will you choose not to do?
Insight inspired by: Professor Michael Porter and his epic article, What is Strategy? Plus,, since I found the article in his Substack Notes thread: “What’s the single best piece of tech or business writing you’ve ever read?” And