Goliath's Revenge [Disruption] P86

Post Length: 3 min

In Review: Goliath’s Revenge

Author: Todd Hewlin, Scott Snyder

Length: 7 hrs 34 min

I don’t work tomorrow so let’s go skate downtown.

That was my best friend Sean almost 20 years ago. He worked at Blockbuster, a then $5 billion dollar company.

Nobody could really compete with their market share when it came to brick and mortar locations.

But, what if you didn’t need physical locations to reach customers? You could reach people anywhere, instantly, with mail order. Enter Netflix, exit Blockbuster.

Their progression started with browsing titles online, then watching them on DVD via a mail order subscription. They would later pivot to digital streaming, and now are an original content production studio pushing out Netflix Originals.

So why didn’t Blockbuster do it themselves?

Todd and Scott work through that question in Goliath’s Revenge, that not all corporations are slated for bankruptcy due to innovative and disruptive tech startups. If the big companies can innovate from within through agile teams, they can disrupt their own model. But to do that, as they say, they have to be willing to sacrifice a few sacred cows.

Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games. - Babe Ruth

First, start by asking this one question to challenge your ability to forecast and project …

  • How will my industry, company and career be impacted by digital disruption?

Second, you will have to sell four different archetypes to deliver step-change value once you know what it is …

  1. Conservatives. The lowest stair, cares about directly reducing costs, low risk undertaking. Focus on hard ROI

  2. Pragmatists in Pain. Fix a broken mission critical process, rapid response, complete solution. Focus on cost of not solving the problem.

  3. Pragmatists with Options. Create immediate competitive advantage, rapid deployment, immediate differentiation. Focus on margin and revenue gains.

  4. Visionaries. Top of the stairs. Create game changing advantage, high barriers to competition. Focus on category share gains.

Finally, you will need an agile approach to disruption …

  • Get a beta to market fast [MVP … minimum viable product]

  • Obtain real world validation [Does anyone want to pay for it?]

  • Iterate toward a breakthrough solution

Mission gives rational to why it is okay to borrow from the present to pay for the future. - Hewlin

If you can get through the above steps, it will be the fight of your life to change an existing organizational eco-system … trust me, I am doing it as we speak.

In the book, they say: it will be a 50/50 balance between growing your core and growing into an adjacent market.

As a side-note, the above suggestions are exactly what the biggest internal organization disruptors are doing. The other part mentioned in the book that may seem out of place but is a key component is setting your cadence with the managing board. [not the board of directors, if you need clarification email me on this structure]

Total meetings required 17 suggested, I implemented 12, not including daily stand-ups and weekly recaps…

Monthly = 12 [Initiative Checkpoints]

Quarterly = 4 [Capabilities Assessments]

Annual = 1 [Strategy Review]

If your plan is to pitch this once over lunch, plan on heartbreak.

This will take all of your life, day and night, and everything in between. Pitching 1,000 times to everyone from the CEO to the janitor that doesn’t speak English, seriously. Pitch everyone, live and breath it, and even then, there is a massive chance you get nothing out of it.

Until next week-

Love, Ando


I started this blog years ago and realized that when I feel the need to take some time off, that I do it. That is why I have been MIA the last few months. Over that time I have been living in MIT tech review magazines on AI, Uber Engineering, HBR, and books on resource allocation management + owner equity allocation management, all very good.

Ando McCall