What are the most important resource priorities to businesses today? Surviving is the name of the game in a shrinking economy, but future industry leaders are preparing themselves to gobble up new market share. I'd prefer the business cease as an entity, then leave any lasting negative effects on the customers or members of the organization. The following priority list serves as my decision architecture (unless it proved detrimental to the employees, customers or business):
- Member Satisfaction
- All business workers shall be best fit to their interests and strengths. The assumption being that these interests shall shift over time. Management will be challenged with continually discovering what best satisfies their groups passions via open communication.
- Best customers are included in the member group. These folks are not only your best marketing representatives, these are friends and even more importantly they give your business feedback about the current market environment and best directions to go with future product releases
- Continually refine the efficiency of your monetization plan
- Plan for long term profitability, but don't hesitate to take advantage of short lived market bursts
- partition a large portion of profits/revenue purely for research in related and correlated fields
- spend more than competitors in learning how to optimize Member Satisfaction and Profit
- market research is an integral to understanding the needs of Members, both external and internal to the organization
- grow naturally if and when it makes sense to fill out market demand
- growth for the sake of boosting revenue isn't a good enough reason
- growing to satisfy Members, boost Profit or Research is rational
Companies that focus on Member Satisfaction understand the value of having a fantastic Corporate Culture. Businesses that keep their eye on cash flow and profit are in a better position to execute. The most knowledgable corporations take research expenditures very seriously. If that means making variants of a top product dumbed down to satisfy different sections of a market you do so (thanks to Steve Blank for teaching me this one in SuperMac War Story 7: Rabbits Out of the Hat - Product Line Extensions). Finally grow when it makes rational sense to, not just to satisfy investors. In fact leashing company growth is a great argument for keeping your business private as long as possible, or at least keeping it well in your control if you do decide to gather public funding.