I really enjoy strategy, but I’m not as good at it as I want to be. I’m pretty bad at chess. I’m awful at Monopoly. I’m even pretty bad at tic tac toe sometimes. Recently I’ve been analyzing my own behavior, and I’ve started to see a pattern. I have a blind spot.
I am far more concerned with winning than not-losing.
That is, I spend far more time and energy thinking about how I am going to win than I do thinking about ways my opponent could beat me.
This is probably responsible for most of the arguments I get in with product managers, who are clearly biased toward not-losing. They’re far more concerned with keeping the customers we have than getting new ones.
Ideally, a good strategist is concerned with both making gains and keeping them.
I don’t know. Keeping what you have is way less interesting than getting more.
I mean…I am aware that keeping the customers you have is WAY cheaper than getting new ones. Cost of acquisition is a major issue. But, there’s a balance there, right? You can’t play all-defense. You can’t play all-offense.
At any rate, now that I’ve noticed my own personal bias, I’m going to start trying to modify it. Maybe one day I can achieve balance. (Although it would probably be more fun to be at least a little biased toward winning.)