Nice post over at Jason’s blog on Turning your biggest weakness into your greatest strength – in it Jason talks about how Weblogs Inc’s biggest weakness was always servers going down (I hear his pain) but that this past week or so has seen them kicking some goals in that area – especially after CES and MacWorld’s keynote adress when Engadget was getting serving up to 87,000 pages per minute (imagine their CPM figures!).
‘One of the best feelings in business/life is to turn your biggest flaw into your biggest strength. That’s one of the things I love to do… figure out what we really suck at and figure out how to make that the thing we’re best at (I’m going to come up with a term for it). We just did that: three months ago our server skills were the worst in the industry, now our server skills are second to none.’
Jason’s just said something pretty obvious about growing a business, but also something quite profound. Paraphrased tip of the day:
‘Figure out what you really suck at and figure out how to make that the thing you’re best at.’
I don’t remember much of my university days (I studied Marketing) but there is one statement that one of my lecturers said that has run in my ears ever since. It was with reference to SWOT Analysis (where you analyze a businesses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). The statement was that one of the key things he’d learned in business was to look at Weaknesses as potential Strengths and Threats as potential Opportunities. The point he hammered home was that if you can even just begin to think this way that you’ll begin to see result – if you can actually achieve success in it you’ll grow your business.
Jason and my lecturer are saying the same thing.
As I said – it’s pretty obvious really but something that I know from my own experience that is easy to ignore. Laziness, fear, the size of the task, lack of resources, time or skills – all of these things and more can hold a blogger back from tackling a problem on their blog – the challenge is to break through them and actually do something.
As I look across my own blogs I can see some glaring problems on a few of them that I’ve been procrastinating about for a few months – maybe it’s time to do the obvious and fix them.
PS: As I sit here reminiscing on my University days I find myself remembering a few other things that my lecturer said about SWOT analysis (this may or may not be of interest to all – so feel free to tune out if you like).
Strengths and Weaknesses are generally internal things within your company. In Jason’s case the server problem is an internal thing that has potential to bring down WIN and is therefor a weakness.
On the other hand Opportunities and Threats are generally external things, often outside the control of the business themselves, that can make or break a company. For example a threat that faces WIN might be the rise of a new technology that means people find their content in other places than online.
One of the bonuses about Threats is that quite often they are things that not only impact your own business but an industry (where as a weakness can be unique to your own business). This means that if you can actually turn a Threat into an Opportunity and realize that Opportunity you have the potential to pull away from the competition. Many companies have made names for themselves on this principle of business.