Portfolios, mission, values

Posted on March 23, 2020 · 3 mins read · tagged with: #business #Dotnetos #personal

This post is a personal view on companies portfolios, how they could potentially address risk of going when shit hits the fan (a.k.a epidemic, etc.)

Recently, a lot of business have been affected by an epidemic. A lot of business are in trouble. One of the most affected areas are probably companies focused on events, meetings, meet ups etc. User groups and other non-commercial organizations can easily transform into online using various tools like Zoom, Microsoft’s Teams etc. Commercial organizations, that need money to ensure business continuity (read: not firing people) might be not in the best shape to just go online. What are the angles one can take to look at this situation?

Hedgehog concept, a.k.a. being the best at one thing

The hedgehog concept idea comes from Good to Great, a really interesting book showing why some of the good companies transform to great ones. The hedgehog concept is simply focusing on one thing, being the best at one thing. You may think about it keeping things in your portfolio that you’re familiar with, that you know.

If I tried to map it to the event space, I could try to say that being an event company in this times is really bad. Basically, you can’t d o what you’re the best at (or trying to be). Could this be somewhat reframed? Maybe being an event company actually sucks, and other framing could be better?

People first and/or mission first

Does this proverbial company think about events or its attendees? What about focusing on people (this narrative/motto needs to be true and to be embedded in the company) and addressing their needs? Maybe it could be

We make X better


We develop X in Y

You see where I’m going. Framing things like this might seem to be broader, more vague. At the same time, it differentiates a strategic thing (mission, values) from the way it is realized.

Mapping on Dotnetos

You might now try to map it on Dotnetos Async Expert online course I’m a part of. Even if this fits in this case, the whole thing was being worked on for a few months now, so its premiere is correlated but not caused by the epidemic. Still, if the company was only about events and on-site meetings, it might look terrible. Fortunately, it’s about teaching people and sharing knowledge. And this can be done in soooo many ways. Still, it’s the one thing, that we’re striving to be good at.


The analogy is somewhat flawed. If you’re an online event management system then you’re not as impacted as a physical catering company. The point is to be able to adopt and adjust to the constraints thrown in your way.

A better example would be small dining businesses capable of deliveries and ones that are not. With the pandemic sit in dining was forbidden. Deliveries are still allowed. Businesses capable of deliveries can still operate to a certain extent. Those that cannot deliver are hurting. Badly.

In general, IT and remote learning are not impacted due to how they are executed. Learning that is not IT related is not as viable these days as you’d think. Try teaching a teenager driving seated less than a meter away? Or teaching a kindergarten student arts over internet. Tough luck.

Bottom line, it’s great that Dotnetos can adopt but it’s not something it could accomplish say internet was down for the duration of the isolation. There are many essential businesses and trades that cannot be virtualized.There are underlying essential foundational services that continue to run to enable virtualization of some, not every service. The world is still physical. Even in the Matrix.

by feldman--sean at 2020-03-28 15:14:35 +0000