There are two games you can play as a business, either a definite game or an infinite game.
- Definite Game
This is a game that ends – there’s a destination. These include exit strategies (planned or unplanned) such as selling the company, liquidation, staying dormant, public humiliation by competitors etc.
To recognize the companies that are in the definite game, you’ll spot them by their language: they’re focused on “beating the competition” , and “being the number 1” .
That language shows you that they’re in a race with someone.
These kinds of business players are insecure about their position in the market and are always watching their back. Their competitive advantage is not sustainable because they keep on changing strategies because they spend most of their time watching what their rivals are doing. They are focused on short-term payouts, as such their risk appetite is very low because they’d rather bonus themselves over investing in research and development to make themselves relevant with future market environments.
Most of small businesses are playing this game.
- Infinite Game
This is a game that never ends. Companies who are playing this game are riding on a timeless mandate and they know that they don’t compete on products but distinctive value proposition. Theirs is to focus on keeping the promise they made to their customer. They’re competing with themselves to impress the customer, they are aware of the competition but they pay them close to none attention.
Example of infinite game players; Apple Inc.
Do you know the difference between Widows Phone/Microsoft Tablet and iPhone/iPad?
Microsoft is trying to leverage on its knowledge (they’re on ‘we can build it so why not…) and Apple’s DNA is imprinted in the electronics industry(read as mobile phone and computer).
Microsoft on their strategies they may be having Apple as the Goliath to conquer, and Apple is not even there.
In essence, understand the game you are playing as a business owner. Don’t just throw around things like “I’m building an empire” without really understanding what that means and requires.
By the way, it’s okay to play a definite game, some markets fizzle out and some entrepreneurs today are like the entrepreneurs from the Dot Com times, they build to sell.
The trick is to know your lane. Or else you will want to copy everyone by building a product to compete with an existing brand. And doing that will leave you dizzy in this entrepreneurship ride. Refrain from having that as a reason to launch a product or business!
You’re welcome to share with me(in the comment section), what you think the game you’re currently playing is, infinite or definite, and or which game you are planning to intentionally play.