Pounce – The Exploitation of Opportunity
When opportunities present themselves, as they regularly do in business, it is important to quickly recognize them, have a framework for processing them, and have a team and an organizational philosophy that can pounce! Many companies focus so heavily on running lean organizations that they have little capability to pounce. Successful businesses, when viewed from history, are nothing more than a series of recognized and captured opportunities.
Before moving on let’s define opportunity as a – a favorable set of fleeting circumstances that makes it possible to do something.
In 1980, Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM to bundle Microsoft’s operating system with IBM computers; with that opportunity IBM paid Microsoft a royalty for every sale. The partnership ultimately launched Microsoft into a global technology powerhouse and Bill Gates into being the wealthiest man in the world.
When IBM first approached Microsoft about potentially licensing a computer operating system from them, Microsoft did not even own an operating system. They quickly recognized the opportunity, and then scrambled a team together to find an existing operating system they could acquire and license to IBM. They found one across the lake in Seattle and bought it from Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products for less than US $100,000. Microsoft was an entrepreneurial company with ambitious leaders, so the right philosophy was already in place.
Where do you find opportunities? First, we must recognize that opportunities are to be found wherever there are inefficiencies, competitive advantages, unsatisfied desires, unmet needs or ROIs. Good places to watch and listen for opportunities are:
1. Listen to prospects and leads
2. Listen to customers
3. Listen to partners
4. Listen to your ecosystems
5. Watch competitors
6. Watch global teenagers
7. Study trends
8. Understand disruptions that are backed by consumer behaviors
9. Interview experts
10. Follow futurists and thought leaders (https://frankdiana.net/)
11. Study investors and the companies they are funding
12. Play with combinatorial data sets and combinatorial technologies
In competition, advantages open the gate to more advantages, likewise, opportunities lead to more opportunities.