Get The Strategy Right And The Execution Is Easy

In the mid/late 90s, we had a venture capital firm called Flatiron Partners. Our primary investor was Chase Capital Partners (CCP) and for the first year of our existence we worked out of CCP’s offices in midtown manhattan. I learned a lot from the partners at CCP, they were experienced and disciplined private equity investors. One of the best of the group was Arnie Chavkin and he taught me something that I come back to often. Arnie told me “get the strategy right and the execution is easy.”

Up to that point, about ten years into my venture capital investing experience, I did not have enough appreciation for strategy. I came from the “work hard and surround yourself with smart people and you will succeed” school. That’s how I went about my job and that’s what I looked for in teams to back. But Arnie’s words got my attention. The idea that execution could be easy was tantalizing to me. And it made sense. If everyone knows what the company is trying to do, and what it is explicitly not trying to do, then they can be focused and efficient in their work. It also caused me to look at the companies that I worked with that were working really hard but not succeeding and I could see that many of them were not pursuing an intelligent strategy.

One of my favorite stories about getting the strategy right is TACODA, a company that Brad Burnham and I were angel investors in during the post bubble period in the early 2000s. TACODA made enterprise software for media companies that allowed them to understand their audience and serve more targeted ads to them. TACODA was one of the earliest, if not the first, behavioral targeting companies. TACODA was working extremely hard, with a very gifted and experienced team, and yet four years in, they were struggling to build a business. My partner Brad became obsessed with the strategy and go to market and told Dave Morgan, the founder and CEO, that he was “working too hard and getting nowhere” and encouraged him to rethink his strategy. Ultimately Dave decided to flip the go to market model to an ad network and within a year the business exploded and it sold a few years later to AOL for something like $275mm.

TACODA had the right idea, the right team, the right tech, but not the right strategy. When they fixed that, a ton of good things happened.

So if you are working really hard and have a strong team and aren’t getting where you want to go, take a hard look at your strategy. As Arnie told me, once you get that right the execution will be easy.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Dale Allyn

    Spot on. Great post.

  2. JLM

    .This ties directly into the idea that the first intellectual stop for a budding entrepreneur is Vision, Mission, STRATEGY, Tactics, Objectives, Values, Culture.STRATEGY is the view from 30,000 feet. What the enterprise is going to do.Tactics is the view from 10,000 feet. What the disciplines/departments are going to do.Objectives is “boots on the ground.” What the key players are going to do. [The basis for assembling the team and appraising performance.]There are a lot of people who just don’t get the differences. It takes a little reflection to get it right.Today, a lot of startups jump over the basics and leap into the product without laying the STRATEGY out for everyone to look at from all directions.VCs encourage this type of behavior and, often, STRATEGY is an after thought rather than a foundation for the business.It is hard work to articulate and write out a STRATEGY but it is critical. I have seen a number of train wrecks in the making which were righted and regain their progress and momentum by circling back and getting their STRATEGY right.This is a perfect example of the difference between experienced entrepreneurs (and experienced CEOs). Experience allows an entrepreneur to knock STRATEGY out without having to buy a tattoo.It is easy but it is like learning to fly an airplane, you have to do it to do it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. William Mougayar

      yes, but for startups, in many cases you need to tinker with the product first in order to figure out the right strategy.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        This can work. But it’s high risk.

      2. JLM

        .I don’t disagree with you that it happens this way but I don’t agree that it should.Strategy can be changed with the stroke of a keyboard and there is no excuse for not having a dynamic strategy that changes as the product takes on better form and definition.The military has this down to a science.You issue a huge operational order with clear strategic thought and planning and then as soon as you make contact with the enemy, you issue a “frag” order changing the plan.This happens down to the company level whereat a company commander changes the plan on the fly, a critical skill.One of the reasons the best sports teams have coaches who can re-game the game at half time.This is a about planning and “under control” and well documented product development. A trail of bread crumbs type approach.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. sigmaalgebra

          I was guessing that strategy was supposed to be at such a high level that it would not be subject to revision upon first contact with the enemy or half time.

    2. Pete Griffiths

      IMHO a key benefit of a sound strategy is that when you make mistakes, which you will, the consequences can be absorbed more easily. You’re not walking such a fine line where any perturbation can wreak havoc.

      1. JLM

        .You see the mistakes more quickly because you have a clearer and cleaner rhumb line.Course corrections are the norm not the exception which means you should have an almost perfect understanding of the course before you set sail.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. george

      Great addition!

    4. LE

      Experience allows an entrepreneur to knock STRATEGY out without having to buy a tattoo.I am a big proponent of experience however I also recognize that experience can also in some cases be a lead weight that sinks you. [1] Why? Your bias from the past prevents you from taking chances you lack the bull in a China shop of “some say why I say why not”.[1] I think of this with respect to Hillary she is almost certainly the most experience and qualified (knowledge wise) person to run for President in a long time but my feeling is that that experience will also prevent her from pushing through and making happen many things that could make a significant difference. (The “take your jack and shove it” story comes to mind. [2][1]

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Hillary is bright, like some of the brightest girls I saw in school. One of the bright ones was Valedictorian, PBK, Woodrow Wilson, Summa Cum Laude, NSF, Ph.D. Lucky you were never in a class with her — the best you could hope to do was to come in second. E.g., once she wanted to learn some European history, didn’t want to threaten her grade point average, so audited the class. The prof insisted that audits also take the tests. At the end the prof told her that she should have taken the course for credit — she’d made the best grade in the class, a lecture hall course of 300 students. She blew away 300 students without even trying. For her first step in computer programming, quickly she learned the AI language our team developed at IBM and then wrote the best first AI program our team ever saw. To her, Erving Goffman was simple and obvious.Her mother never heard of Goffman but just from her own invention was a grand expert at it. She worked hard at it: Some of the most intense brain work I ever saw was the mother thinking about even just the trivial items in daily life, e.g., a phone call, a greeting, a chance conversation at the grocery store. Deep into general relativity, poor Albert didn’t work half that hard! I didn’t work even 10% that hard on the hardest part of my Ph.D. dissertation.So, good to have bright, experienced, knowledgeable, hard working, determined, just excellent at presentation of self (Goffman). Yup. Those are good to have.But those are neither necessary nor sufficient, and there’s more that’s just crucial.Here’s one: Also need judgment at least okay.Bad judgment can be like driving a car really well, however, frequently taking wrong turns for no good reason, i.e., no reason obvious, clear, or rational. Why? Commonly out of control emotions overwhelming everything else. Where to get some really bad judgment? One source is to be deeply mixed up about the overall situation and so emotional, e.g., determined, about it that can’t revise the view. That can be a special case of the Paul Tillich “idolatrous ultimate concern”.Why? Have some attitudes and concerns all wrapped up in. Why? The usual explanation is nature, not nurture, that is, genetics. In more detail? A common cause, anxiety disease, say, just so terrified of monsters under the bed, in the back of the clothes closet, in the attic that just can’t think clearly.There’s a short, one word description — wacko.IMHO that’s what’s wrong with Hillary: Way back in college she had already bought into some wacko attitudes, and she is still pursuing them. Her determination is like cast iron, just as hard, durable, unchanging, and inflexible. As her wacko attitudes encountered reality and failed, e.g., HillaryCare, her unique marriage arrangement, some of the contempt she has gotten in public, she became lonely, afraid of failing in her ultimate concerns, bitter, angry, nasty, frustrated, out of patience. E.g., she is contemptuous, e.g., in the last debate late in returning after the break, throwing way the rules and using just awful judgment in her e-mail decisions, how she has raised money for the Clinton foundation, how she deals with subordinates, her painted on makeup and smile. But she is still pursuing her wacko attitudes and concerns, the same ones she had in college.She is so wound up with her attitudes and concerns and now so bitter and angry that she is not free to be effective at much of anything, certainly not POTUS. What she needs now is retirement, a good psychiatrist, and some meds.Gotta watch out also for the wacko stuff. I.e., one of the leading qualifications is, not wacko.

        1. LE

          Hillary is not anything like the person you are describing to me she is about as smart as smart girl in the 60’s who might be at Berkley (earthy crunchy) or maybe even an Ivy. Those girls (and guys) are a dime a dozen though. Nothing truly exceptional. I also don’t feel that Hillary is particularly creative in her thinking. She tests well. The girl you are describing is more than “tests well” or “has a good memory” at least from what you are saying.The other thing about Hillary is this. Say what you will about Trump, his Dad, how he got $1 million and all of that, but whatever he succeeded and failed at he did on his own. Wasn’t because of his spouse that is for sure. Wasn’t because there was some secret sauce in his organization that he is keeping under wraps. Wasn’t because of a partner. Wasn’t because he went to Wharton. All his brain. All his creativity. All his effort. Bill w/o Hillary = “go nowhere” and Hillary w/o Bill = “go nowhere”. Nothing wrong with that of course but the synergy of the two brains is what vaulted both of them to the top. Obv. if Bill hadn’t been Potus Hillary would not be running for Potus. And if Bill didn’t have Hillary he would have never made it to Potus.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Yup.My point of the PBK girl is that even all those qualifications are not enough if in daily life emotions overwhelm reason. Okay, Hillary is not as bright as the girl I described, but then Hillary’s emotions stand to more easily overwhelm her rationality.Her arrangement with Bill, that you described well, is, in a word, why be too complicated here, wacko. And, there’s no way she can like it. They are a business couple, lonely from not being in a marriage. Dumb. Gotta be dumb to try such an arrangement instead of a marriage. E.g., our country already has too many problems with busted families — we don’t want Verse 2 of a sick-o marriage in the White House as an example for the country.Hillary should retire, get a good psychiatrist and some meds.Maybe this late Bill and Hillary can try falling in love instead of pursuing power that, really, they don’t know how to make good use of.

      2. JLM

        .Please list all of Hillary’s accomplishments and critical experiences. She is all show and no go.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    5. Vasudev Ram

      >It is easy but it is like learning to fly an airplane, you have to do it to do it.Ha, good one – “you have to do it to do it.”Sometimes the most pithy and short sayings pack the most meaning, if people would only take the trouble to understand and really apply them.Based on analyzing my own experiences and that of others over a period, I had made up my own saying some time ago, which is quite similar to yours above, and with the same meaning:I call it “doing by doing.”Not even “learning by doing.”Just: doing by doing.

  3. Dana Ardi

    Love this post Fred. I can’t tell you how many times Arnie’s words resonate with me. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. fredwilson

      Hi Dana. Arnie doesn’t waste or mince words!

      1. JamesHRH

        How about some guest posts from Brad?

  4. JimHirshfield

    Yesssss! Measure twice, cut once.

    1. Vasudev Ram

      Measure, cut, measure, cut, repeat ….would be more close to what JLM is saying, methinks.

    2. sigmaalgebra

      Dad said “saw once”, but I’ll give you some slack!

  5. Pete Griffiths

    I prefer:”Get the strategy right and the execution is easier.”I don’t think high quality execution is ever easy.

    1. Dennis Meng


    2. george

      That’s experience talking! What I really like about today’s post – the role that leadership and experience plays in defining and developing an effective strategy. The TACODA example rally emphasizes this point – strategic alignment improves execution.

    3. Ro Gupta

      Yes, much prefer this. TBH I recoiled a bit when I first read the title. Initially comes off as what a typical investor/analyst primarily used to dealing in the theoretical might think .. and I know bc I was once a strategy consultant with little respect for implementation.

    4. Yinka!

      Plus, strategy and execution are rarely cleanly separate. Both often exist in the same messy pool, with strategy trying to keep above water as it is refined in realtime (with bursts of mini-executions to verify each component).

      1. ShanaC

        Strategy is testable, let’s call it that

  6. Shalabh

    So to reiterate, if you chose the right direction, then it is easier to reach the destination?

  7. Mike Chan

    I completely agree that you need the strategy first. But it has to be dynamic and flexible. Even if you plot out a great plan, changes are inevitable and if you can’t adapt, you’re done.But I disagree that execution is easy once a proper strategy has been created. It may be easier, but not easy.

  8. george

    You might want to copyright that quote, it’s that good. Great simple words of wisdom acquired through experience…nicely framed post.

  9. William Mougayar

    So much has been written about the linkage between Strategy and Execution. The simple thing that links the two is Results. If you’re not achieving the results, then either change the strategy, or the execution, or both, or the people in charge.

  10. Matt Zagaja

    I think this is great. As someone who has worked in politics I have been in many places where lots of people are working hard on bad strategy. It’s painful. However I would not discount the inverse as being an issue as well. I have also been in many organizations with a great strategy and terrible or non-existent execution. The latter mostly being voluntary organizations. It is amazing how many voluntary orgs I’ve been a part of where there is a great idea/strategy and then all the volunteers disengage at the point it starts to feel like “work”. I often wonder if most people just don’t get the rush of pride/accomplishment from building something that I do?

    1. JLM

      .A bad idea/strategy even when held by a majority is still a bad idea/strategy.This is at the core of politics.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. sigmaalgebra

        “Even”? How about especially!Or, if everyone is agreeing, then someone is not thinking!

      2. ShanaC

        “Man is by nature a political(sic:social) animal”So ideas are core to what makes us human?

        1. JLM

          .Man also looks for a leader. That is why there are so few real leaders.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. LE

      and then all the volunteers disengage at the point it starts to feel like “work”. I often wonder if most people just don’t get the rush of pride/accomplishment from building something that I do?That’s fascinating… (because I love human behavior things like this).So they are “phone it in” and “social experience theater” types as opposed to people who truly enjoy getting involved and actually doing. [1] [3] In those organizations was there a clear motivating leader that drove everyone or not? My guess is in addition to what I say below in footnotes no clear leader drove and motivated them.[1] Notice I didn’t make any reference to the fact that they might not care. I think they do care (otherwise they wouldn’t have gotten involved) but my guess is the difference between you and those people is you get a great deal of positive feedback from what you do to help (and from more importantly hard work) and the others do not. [2][2] Could also be that they are just low capacity circuits and the feedback mechanism was never built when they were growing up to provide intrinsic rewards.[3] Like people who see you washing your car and only want the fun job of washing the suds off with the hose not the other parts.

      1. Matt Zagaja

        Much of those thoughts came in the context of coding meet ups and conversations I’ve been having with people that lead them, along with some of my own frustrations in taking part in them. It is an interesting world because I do think there are a lot of social experience theater types. Sometimes they are actively anti-helpful but I suppose the thing that hasn’t been tried yet is firing them.

    3. Susan Rubinsky

      I have seen the same apathy in corporate.

  11. jason wright

    “…execution is easy” – nice alliteration.I saw the Kitzbuhel downhill ski race yesterday. That other Arnie was there in the crowd. We know his most famous aphorism. Svindal got it wrong, and did his knee. He’s out for the season, but he’ll be back.Getting it wrong is how i learn.p.s. still can’t reach through my Chrome browser. SSL issue at your end?

  12. John Pepper

    I just know one thing. Execution isn’t easy. If it is, it probably won’t last.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      The standard venture remark is “Ideas are easy and plentiful, and execution is hard and everything.” Well, bad ideas, plans, strategy are easy and plentiful, and then, no shit Sherlock, execution is hard and everything that’s left can do and to do.Maybe with a good idea, plan, strategy, execution can be routine and relatively easy. Oh, and I left out, luck!Luck! Blind, stupid, simple, doo-dah, clueless LUCK! from a quasi-erudite source — extra credit for knowing the source!

  13. Aaron Klein

    A testament to how true that is, Fred. We thought advisors wouldn’t use unproven risk technology on their clients so we started Riskalyze with a consumer strategy and struggled for two years.With our backs against the wall and three months of money in the bank, we stuck to our core vision but changed the strategy to attack advisors and boom…two and a half years later, that four person company is cracking 100 employees, is providing solutions to some of the biggest wealth management enterprises in the country, and is managing $121 billion in assets.Mission, values and strategy drive everything else.

    1. Rohan

      Really cool Aaron. Congrats on the growth. Long may the good things continue. 🙂

      1. Aaron Klein

        Thanks my friend. My incredible team and a lot of great advice along the way deserve the lion share of the credit.

        1. Rohan

          Spoken like a nice leader! 🙂

    2. Richard

      What does it mean to “attack advisors” ?

      1. Aaron Klein

        “Enter the market.”

    3. Donna Brewington White

      Didn’t know about the “three months of money in the bank.” An inspiring story just became even more so.I’m sure the story of Riskalyze contains valuable lessons for a lot of us. Look forward to the continued story.So cool to remember your comment a few years back sharing with this community that you were launching

      1. Aaron Klein

        We still had another close call after that because it took six months to really start getting traction with the new strategy. At one point we were three weeks away from running out of cash and shutting down, but an investor came in and saved the day. It’s been an incredible story so far!

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I wonder how often an investor, an advisor, a favor or maybe even a really great client or deal in the nick of time is a part of an entrepreneur’s success story.

          1. Aaron Klein

            So true!

    4. awaldstein

      Amen to that!

      1. Aaron Klein

        Thanks for being one of those people offering advice along the journey!

    5. RichardF

      Just fantastic to hear Aaron…..congratulations

      1. Aaron Klein

        Thanks Richard!

    6. JLM

      .You also had a damn good CEO. I know the guy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Aaron Klein

        Pretty good CEO coach, too… 🙂

        1. Chris McCoy

          makes sense

    7. Tom Labus

      Great story and congrats to you all

      1. Aaron Klein

        Thanks Tom!

    8. JamesHRH

      Great story.Quite often, using a channel that has established relationships seems the wrong thing to do…..but it almost always turns out to be the right thing to do.

      1. Aaron Klein

        Yep. And getting that right is hard. Reaching the consumers actually worked well, but it was the channel monetization part of the consumer strategy that struggled. Meanwhile, selling directly to advisors took off like wildfire once it started working.

    9. Joe Marchese

      Spot on. Mission, vision, values, and goals set the core context of the company. These aren’t for wallpapering posters that are cynically ignored. If everyone is aligned to the context, everyone plays the same game and you win as a team. Building on top of that is strategy development (which most companies do) and strategy deployment (where most companies suck). Context and strategy are the first two layers of the management system that enables the company to perform. Next layer is customer engagement, which serves as feedback to strategy and feed forward to the work system. Building out the management system is the key success factor for the build out stage of the enterprise. The system has to be in place early (25 people or $25M revenue) to have the trajectory to sustain exponential growth.

      1. Aaron Klein

        Very true…

    10. PhilipSugar

      That is just awesome Aaron.

      1. Aaron Klein

        Thanks Phil 🙂

  14. Rafael

    So, this begs for the corollary question: If the execution isn’t easy does it always mean that the strategy isn’t right?

  15. Kinnard

    This doesn’t go very far in describing what characterizes a good strategy . . .

    1. JamesHRH

      A good strategy is one that works.

  16. LE

    Change of strategy example, just searched for this company and found out that they no longer deal with consumers, only enterprise customers:https://keysduplicated.comThe only issue is semantics. When does a “change in strategy” actually become a “change in the business and market served”?…

  17. Michael Elling

    Strategy should be 1/5th of every employee’s thinking every day; not just management and board. This is reinforced by continuously looking at external influences (intended and otherwise; including shocks and completely new ideas) and using the employee base as a primary filter (both inwards and outwards). Few companies build this directly into knowledge management frameworks.A good sports analogy is that most games begin with a “strategy” but then throughout the game strategy is modified by tactics and the employees are communicating with each other (and the opponents and sometimes the crowd) in real time.

  18. Salt Shaker

    Strat precedes execution, but I don’t think you can conclude one is more important than the other. They’re interwoven. I would add the importance of positioning to the equation. No biz operates in a vacuum and having a competitive and meaningful point-of-difference is just as, and very often more, important. That’s why I think many start-ups fail, too many biz aren’t distinguishable from competition, and parity ultimately turns into parody.

  19. Vasu

    i really agree w/ this and thanks for writing! would it be possible to share more anecdotes? it’s helpful to concretely grasp what is considered ‘strategy’ w/ examples like TACODA.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Yup. My guess was that being an ad network was more a tactical decision than a strategic one. But maybe it was regarded as strategic by the marketing team that had to figure out where and how to get the paying customers!

  20. Susan Rubinsky

    LOVE this. Now if only my clients would listen… My favorite quote in this case is, “Do not confuse activity with progress.”

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Special case of the common vast plans with half-vast planning! :-)!

  21. Donna Brewington White

    This is advice we need to hear over and over and over again… until we don’t.Or maybe I’m just speaking for me.

  22. pointsnfigures

    So much of strategy comes from being physically present in the market. I have seen companies try to figure out strategy from behind a keyboard. Impossible. Go out and meet directly with your end users. If you ask the right questions, and probably more importantly listen to them, you will find the path to the correct strategy.Often, there are preconceived ideas of what will happen. When you actually startup, things never go as planned. You need principles, and you need to sway in the wind like prairie grass.

    1. awaldstein

      I buy that you need vision of course.I don’t think that no position is a postion at all.Brand first has served me well as a strategy time and time again.

  23. Jack Gavigan

    This is heresy. Next you’ll be suggesting that MBAs might actually have some value!

  24. j.chris

    The right strategy is more important than the best technology.

  25. Tweetboy

    Too bad Twitter is screwed up now with all the mass exodus happening

    1. Brad Lindenberg

      Twitter is doing fine, it is just that the expectations of the company are way too high.

      1. Tweetboy

        when will you ever know that no fruit tasted good when the inside is hollow.sell your stock now

  26. hypermark

    There is a subtle truth in this that a VC friend once conveyed. He was always challenging entrepreneurs by asking, “Where’s the current? Birds don’t fly because they flap their wings. They fly because they find the current, and let it carry them aloft higher.”Strategy is, at a base level, figuring out the current, and how to manifest it.

    1. Brad Lindenberg

      Love this!

    2. Rob Larson

      Great metaphor

      1. hypermark


  27. Chimpwithcans

    Equally important to devising a good strategy – communicating a good strategy effectively.I think this gets harder, the larger the company. Nice post!!

  28. Daniel Clough

    Really, really great post.If things feel a struggle, taking a step back and reflecting on what you’re trying to do can be so effective. Also, you need to have the balls to make a big change like that. Kudos to those that do and have. I’ve done it before and it’s hard and you have to just keep pushing on, sometimes without the validation that you’re getting it right.Keeping the strategy in the forefront of everyones minds is definitely an art. People under-estimate the power of doing it well. Stops unnecessary distraction, work, and discussions about stuff that doesn’t matter. And makes a great number of decisions throughout the org that happen every day better.

  29. Lynn Kasel

    I love this post. Might it be better to think of a successful business as being comprised of multiple strategies? Product, GTM, funding, recruiting, management,etc.

  30. riemannzeta

    “If everyone knows what the company is trying to do, and what it is explicitly not trying to do, then they can be focused and efficient in their work.”I would add the corollary that a clear strategy that everybody understands but is wrong is better than an unclear strategy that is “right.” You can learn from a mistake and change a clear but wrong strategy. You don’t learn and can’t act together when the strategy isn’t clear.

  31. Jake Chapman

    Thanks for writing about this! Too often execution and hard work are fetishized, totally ignoring the strategy component. Obviously execution is critical but it is meaningless if you don’t have both a clear direction to pull in and a team that is all pulling in the same direction.

  32. Fred Thiel

    Speaks to the fact that having the right management team and leadership is more important than the right strategy and poor execution. One clearly needs both great management and great strategy to succeed, but a great management team can always pivot to a better strategy -– while having the best strategy and suboptimal management only leads to suboptimal results.

  33. Aaron Klein

    I’ll pass that on to my amazing team! 🙂

  34. Stacey Wernick

    Fred makes some insightful observations that hard work by smart people is in and of itself not sufficient to achieve success, and that strategy is key. I agree that strategy is critical but I’d like to explore the concept of strategy within a broader context of achieving business success.Whether we’re looking at long-established businesses or newly disruptive firms with related technologies, business is still business. I look at the essence of the fundamental business process within a framework I call “VPE” or vision, planning and execution. Strategy is a critical component of VPE.What is VPE and how does it apply to all businesses, new and old?To summarize:Vision: Identify an unmet need and derive a credible business model for filling that need in a financially healthy and sustainable manner;Planning: State the mission that supports the vision, set goals that support the mission, and devise strategies for goal attainment;Test for vision soundness and validity using financial projections [incomestatements, statements of cash flow and balance sheets] derived from credibleassumptions;Set goals that achieve the financial projection assumption set herein;Execution: Implement the plan.VPE resources are dynamic and subject to change over time. They need to be regularly and continuously re-tested and re-evaluated to see if they’re still valid or need modification, especially in the dynamic, warp-speed tech world of truly disruptive environments.This is particularly true of vision. If market demand changes due to competitive innovation or other disruptive forces, the business must change to meet that. That’s no easy feat in today’s tech world.You must get the vision right. If the vision is wrong, so much else can wind up wrong. And not all ‘vision’ is equal.Here’s how I think of vision: Vision can be sound, flawed or fatally flawed.Sound Vision: Meeting an unmet need in a financially healthy manner on a sustainable basis;Flawed Vision: Meeting an unmet need in a financially unhealthy manner, but not fatally so; andFatally Flawed Vision: Meeting an unmet need in a manner that is financially unhealthy to a fatal degree where the company is forced to liquidate or otherwise close.Perhaps there is irony in the notion that I as CEO of VCEssence ® [i.e., the ‘essence’ of venture capital] also subscribe to the ‘essence of business’, as VPE. Aren’t they truly one and the same?Please check out VCEssence ® an easy-to-navigate on-line resource at VCEssence ® helps entrepreneurs make more lucrativedecisions by learning the wisdom of today’s most successful, savvy andinfluential technology investors like Fred.“We aggregate, curate and edit the killer content that helps entrepreneurs succeed.”We aggregate, curate and edit valuable content authored by some of today’s most successful technology investors – among the world’s best. The result is what thoseinvestors think regarding critical strategic and tactical topics. Our“killer content” provides access to their insights, advice and wisdom includinglessons from success and failure.VCEssence ® is the ‘must-visit’ solution that enables entrepreneurs to make more informed decisions, thereby helping them build breakthrough companies andtechnologies. What startup wouldn’t want to know what the greatest investors think of all things startup, and use that knowledge to increase the odds of success and reduce the risk of failure?Stacey WernickFounder & CEO VCEssence ®

  35. sigmaalgebra

    Ah, I never used the H-word! I never said hysteria. You are hinting at what used to be called neurotic. Gee, so clinical, and from just a remote diagnosis!Besides, if we are to drag the old neurotic into the picture, then OCD and psychopathic are closer! Overall, call it anxiety disease.To diagnosis it, there is a simple test: Listen to her for a while. If leave and feel unsettled or even upset, then you just got an alarm from your relatively reliable wacko detector. My Mom could sense that stuff in just minutes on a first meeting. She was correct, but she never taught me how and I had to learn it later, paying “full tuition”.No, sorry, 21st century or any century, my reading of Hillary is that she’s just wacko and as POTUS, dangerous.On HillaryCare, I’m not against doing something along the lines of public-private health care. Indeed, otherwise we are close to just letting a lot of people be sick and die, and, to borrow a recently misused phrase, ‘That’s just not who we are.”.But the problem with Hillary and HillaryCare: (1) Really, as First Lady, and we don’t elect first ladies, it was not her business. And, BTW, did you see how she dressed for a state dinner as first lady? She was about as feminine as the bow of the battleship Missouri. Relevance? Part of her wacko — she wanted to be a power figure. Did I mention wacko? (2) She pursued her goal with, okay, I’ll be clinical, OCD. That’s not just determination but closer to debilitation. In particular, OCD blocks any effort at good judgment. It’s like trying to think with some heavy metal rock band at 200 dB between your ears, uh, while weak and “low energy” from being on a paleo diet! Just can’t think. (3) The quality of the work she did was junk, and that was mostly why it flopped. It flopped. It was a waste. That’s important. She was being out of control emotional, not effectively rational. (4) Why? Because pursued the goal like some 1960s demonstrator for some collection of classic sophomoric socialistic dream ideas. About as effective as bra burning to help poor people who are cold because they can’t afford heating oil. In a word, she blew it. How do we know? Because it flopped. Why’d she blow it? She was driven, say, OCD, by a lot of wacko emotions that overwhelmed rationality. And, that’s all she is — wacko emotions that overwhelm rationality. Memorize the accepted answers to the questions? Great! Terrific! Actually think, have good judgment? Nope. She’s wacko — now just sick, as POTUS, ineffective down to destructive down to dangerous.Sure, the far right wants less government: Well, one way to get that is to have a lot of wackos who can’t agree on anything that would be effective and productive. That would be the best Hillary could be as POTUS — less government due to gridlock of wackos.Sure, the last time Hillary ran for POTUS, in the debates she looked bright, well informed, the best mind on the stage. And, superficially she was. But, she’s also wacko, and it shows now more than then.Sure, the alternative is Trump. He’s hard to get to know, but, net, he’s a smart cookie and darned, what’s the word, effective, and the list of where he wants to be effective is not just some women’s college, 1960s, liberated, socialistic thing but nearly all just simple, common sense. Of course, some of that common sense is not so common: E.g., for the Wollman Skating Rink, have to be bright enough to call some experts. Where? Sure, where they know how to build skating rinks, e.g., Canada! Gee, for years, why didn’t the NYC think of that? He was smart enough to go around, not through, the political mud hole. Common sense but not so common.E.g., Trump on the real goals of HillaryCare? He has already said that we won’t let people go without medical care. Simple. Common sense. But too simple for Hillary who made a mess out of the effort.Why, why, why? Because with HillaryCare, Hillary had a bigger goal, her dream of socialism for which healthcare, essentially some version of socialized medicine, was just one part. She pursued her dream — impractical. It flopped. Her efforts got healthcare for no one. It’s called failure. Not pretty.I’ve seen too much of wackos, paid “full tuition”. Hillary is a wacko. She’d be at best ineffective. We don’t want her.

  36. sigmaalgebra

    Ah, really badly posed question! As we know very well, Trump’s taste for a partner in a pair is way up off the tops of the charts! He’d pick some Czech girl who won some Olympics skating competition or at least was a world class model. Oh, wait, he already did that, at least once, maybe three times!But, to take your improbable question and infeasible assumption literally, sure, Trump would throw Bloomberg who would land on his ass!Why? By a wide margin, Bloomberg is the more effeminate but not in a good way even for women: Why? (1) He likes more effeminate styles of manipulation. (2) He is closer to being a loner, e.g., as in neurotic psychopathic from anxiety disease four times more common in women than men. (3) He believes in big government being a big, father figure to take care of people, e.g., as commonly women very much want as they start to move away from the security of Daddy. So, Nanny Bloomberg wants to outlaw salt and big gulp soft drinks. Sorry, Mike: Eat a little to much salt, and it will raise blood pressure a little for a few hours until pee it out. For actually causing the disease of high blood pressure, it doesn’t. (4) Bloomberg got totally sucked in with the Saint Laureate Al Guru, NYT, 100% all-natural, enviro, guilty human, earth-worship, renewable, UN one-world government, sacrifice, carbon footprint flim-flam, fraud, swindle, shake down, scam and, thus, wanted to put wind turbines on the tops of the tall buildings in NYC. Actually, while, yes, the climate does change, CO2 has nothing to do with climate change — zip, zilch, and zero. E.g., from the present back to all the Vostok core data and long before, the CO2 data just does not fit the temperature data. Trump was smart enough to see all of this and dismiss it by saying that he is not interested in the “carbon footprint”. Good for Trump.Bloomberg did really well with his Bloomberg terminals, and, maybe, net, he did a lot of good for NYC, for which apparently there was plenty of room, but for more Mike has gone way off the road into a swamp.Net, Mike is short on the judgment thingy where Trump is terrific.How terrific? How about make look like total fools Nate Silver and essentially every pundit in the media. That was better than the day Ruth pointed at the stands and, thus, correctly called his shot. That’s consistently nothing but net from the back court. For more? He just got the entire staff of The National Review and their 22 best minds to soil their pants in public.Someone who is really good will, right, necessarily be exceptional and, thus, impossible for 99 44/100% of the people to understand until they see some evidence they can understand. So, 100% of the pundits, political strategy advisers, and politicians just didn’t get it and laughed. Laugh time is over.Pundits, are you learning yet? I doubt it. Like trying to learn to play violin really well by watching films of Heifetz — helps a little, e.g., he holds the bow the Russian way and not the German way, but not very much!

  37. sigmaalgebra

    Sodium is very reactive. In water it rips HO from H2O to form NaOH, sodium hydroxide and free H. The H burns with the oxygen in air. Commonly there is enough energy released to ignite the H.But, Mike was talking about NaCl, sodium chloride, table salt, and that’s quite different. The human body needs some NaCl or will die. With a little too much NaCl, the body just pees out the excess. No biggie. Mike’s fear of table salt is a sign of the anxiety the NYT likes to create as they manipulate and exploit their favorite readers, wildly overly emotional, irrational, ignorant, anxiety ridden, neurotic women. Same NYT song, second verse, that Mike also falls for, climate change from CO2 from humans. Wacko. Sick-o.

  38. sigmaalgebra

    Navier-Stokes?For the reaction itself, of course not. For how the H cloud rises above the water, maybe.Navier-Stokes are just the fluid flow version of Newton’s laws of motion and the gas laws and has nothing to do with the energy of chemical reactions.Early in my career, I had a job at the US Naval Ship Research and Development Center. That’s at the north east corner of the Potomac River and its northern bridge of the DC Beltway. That site has the towing tank for testing models of ship hulls. I did some computer algebra for local series solutions of the N-S equations.My understanding is that since then, with some techniques from Courant Institute at NYU, say, multi-grid methods, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has made great progress for design of ships, racing yachts, airplanes and for fluid flow in pipes and weather prediction.The problem at Clay Math in Boston on the N-S equations is curious but likely a bit far from practical CFD.The N-S equations are some classic mathematical physics. When I was a ugrad student majoring in math and physics, I still remembered, was still sore from, how the K-12 teachers were nasty to me. By the ninth grade, I noticed that in math I could win — if my algebra or proofs were correct, there wasn’t a nasty teacher on the planet who could hurt me. So, mathematical proofs became my academic umbrella, rain coat, shield, and body armor.Then in college physics, they kept dragging out math. I was good enough with just the ‘physics’, blew away everyone else in freshman physics, and had the physics prof wanting me to major in physics.When I’d studied carefully that math physics was using in the math department, then the physics was just in the footnotes, and I was beyond any possibility of criticism. When my math studies had not covered that math, I was still the best student in the physics class but felt vulnerable since I couldn’t yet prove everything. What physics does with math is too often just awful, and I’ve long suspected that their bad math has hurt their progress. In small ways, sure. In big ways, I might be wrong — eventually they do get the math good enough, usually, that is, except when they don’t!In the meanwhile I’ve gotten a much better math background, quite above what nearly any physics student has. So, sure, I want to take another pass through that ugrad classic mathematical physics, sure, use exterior algebra on a pass through general relativity, use what I know about probability and stochastic processes in quantum mechanics, and attack some of the outstanding problems in physics. That’s all for after my startup!On the startup, last night I was again in the zone, that is, had a lot of the code, the DB schema, etc. back between my ears again — thanks to my relatively good documentation. So, today I’m eager to get the good initial data I have stuffed into the DB and get on with alpha test, beta test, and going live. Then basic debugging of the code appears to be done — all the code appears to run correctly. For the trickiest parts, I coded it up twice in two very different languages and on some test data compared the results — they were equal! But there may be some bugs left, and/or I might want to tweak the UI/UX. So, I want more testing.Here at AVC, JLM’s site, HN, etc., I’m awash in advice on how to go all the way to IPO and beyond. I need to get it done.