Build a Crisis-Proof Product Strategy by fmr Expedia Product Leader, Riah Sathe

There are many situations and circumstances that are unforeseen and beyond our control. But strategy is something that is under our control and it is for this reason that we must be very effective in formulating it. 

Strategy is Crucial to Respond. 

Why we need to reset now & Build a strategy for the future. 

- "Fight" or "Flight" Mode - When in crisis, We physiologically lose the ability to be rational. 

- So you can Respond, not React. 

- Enables leadership to act from a place of Empathy not Fear. 

- Rehearsals create mastery. Similarly a strategy prepares us for the unforeseen. 

Good Strategy, Bad Strategy 

- Good strategy acknowledges the unknowns & questions the status quo. Bad strategy is Biased & based on limited experience. 

- Good strategy considers the Bigger Picture, A good strategy is never built in isolation - Our current reality, our environment, the market and users, our limitations & then our goals. Bad Strategy mistakes Goals for strategy. 

- Good Strategy is revisited. Bad strategy is stagnant and fixed. 

- Good Strategy is proactive. Bad strategy is reactive. 

A framework on Proactive Strategy. 

Step 1 – Identify external opportunities & threats 

All this may not directly affect you, each factor may not have a direct impact on your product, but most of them will affect your user as your customers. This can then influence their buying decision. They have purchasing power. For businesses, there are many opportunities that exist due to these factors. 

Step 2 – Introspect internal strengths & weaknesses. 

What does your product stand for? 

Are you relevant to users - now in the future? 

How robust is your business model? 

Do you make tech decisions accounting for best worst case? 

Are you really "Agile" as you claim? How adaptable are you? 

How proactive vs. reactive are you? 

Step 3 - Plot strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats. 

Step 4 - TOWS Framework – Strategize