Exist Strategy

Don't just stand there
So much of the current zeitgeist in technology and business circles (think about how we still have marketing campaigns) follows a predictable roadmap — build minimum viable product, get users/audience through freemium model, as many as possible to then monetize. The ultimate strategy is an exit strategy, it seems.

Jim Collins called it Built to Flip:

We have arrived at a unique moment in history: the intersection of an unprecedented abundance of capital and an explosion of Internet-related business ideas. But, for all of the incredible opportunities unleashed by this combination, there is one monumental problem: The entrepreneurial mind-set has degenerated from one of risk, contribution, and reward to one of wealth entitlement.

It was March 2000.

Natasha Lampard builds on that idea in an article on longtrepreneurial thinking# [h/t Om Malik]:

I imagine they focused, not on an exit strategy, but on an exist strategy, a strategy built on sticking around; a strategy not for a buy-out, but for a handing down, a passing along.

I wonder what decisions we would make differently if we inherited the work we do?

I wonder what decisions we would make differently if our duty was to pass on the work we do?

By expanding options we would learn to make better decisions. Using our own thinking and considerations on relationships and culture instead of using money as the only valuation metric. 

A couple of paragraphs later Lampard asks:

What if our “exits” were bestowing upon someone you love, the thing you have created and crafted with love?

What if, instead of focusing on exits, we focused on sticking around?

What we do ends up creating out world. What if by building businesses to last we mirrored those values in relationships? How would think line of thinking change us?


[image via Unsplash]