My strategy professor from business school once said that if you left your company’s strategic plan on the bus and a competitor discovered it…and you were then screwed, it was a bad strategic plan. I completely agree.
A great strategy is one that’s unique to your company. For Apple, it’s a commitment to simple designs that cater to the every-person, and to deliver integrated, vertical experiences even if that means basic feature sets. Everyone knows this, but only Apple can be Apple. Only Apple has a large, loyal fan base that absolutely trusts Apple’s product taste and are willing to always pay for it. Only Apple can attract the best talent without needing to pay top dollar for them. Apple’s war chest means they’re able to tightly control their supply chain so competitors have a hard time matching its product quality and profit margins.
Elements of Snapchat’s strategic plan were leaked in the recent hack of Sony Pictures, and so I was surprised to read a very emotional reply from the CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel.
It might seem condescending for me to suggest he should relax but…hey Evan, relax!
Snapchat’s long-term strategy isn’t exactly a secret. They’re increasingly competing with Instagram and Twitter to provide a lens into what’s happening at a place or event (like the World Cup), and enabling conversations about it.
To that end, Google Glasses-like wearables (interesting).
To that end, QR codes (ugh, good luck with that, no one likes QR codes).
To that end, live chat (incidentally, Instagram’s newest update has this functionality too).
Why get so upset? If Snapchat’s strategy is any good, it won’t matter that the whole world knows it.