Technology- or platform-driven strategy is a fast track to commoditization.
In today’s world, it seems, people want to characterize every utterance and action as strategic — as if the simple addition of the adjective elevates the importance and quality of the thinking. It is rather dismaying, though not surprising, then, that few executives who so frequently use the word have a clear idea of what strategy is or is not.
Strategy is not technology. No one gains competitive advantage from letting technology lead strategic visioning. This is the short road to parity. The ever-expanding universe of specialized technology applications makes possible almost any conceivable operational vision, but strategy is not forged from technological (or economic) power alone. Strategic understanding cannot be keyed to a specific technology application. When the same communication and knowledge acquisition technologies are accessible to everyone, and everyone works with the same set of ideas to deploy technology in the same way, there is competitive convergence. Commoditized performance sets in because actors are copying one another using cut-and-paste methods. Advantage instead flows from getting ahead of the technology curve and using holistic thinking to guide the process of change. This is concept-driven innovation, a very different sort of framework than technology-driven innovation.
Strategy is not the Internet.