Wednesday, March 01, 2006


"There is no such thing as a good off-strategy idea."

Randy Pilon, founder and CEO, Virox Technologies Inc.
- as quoted by David Woolford, Virox chair, in a presentation Feb. 7 to the Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery 2006 conference.

Success is all about focus, right?

I agree with Randy. But how then do we categorize serendipitous discoveries, such as new markets or Post-It Notes?

In real life, I think the truth is, "There is hardly ever a good off-strategy idea."

But Randy's remark is catchier. And it makes the point: Success is much more likely to come from disciplined focus than from chasing every opportunity that comes along.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree, and find that appeals to “strategy” are getting tiresome. Business people use the word so much and so often, equating it to everything they agree with, that it has become meaningless… no, make that… quasi-religious. These days to say that you don’t “believe” in strategy is akin to someone in mediaeval Europe saying they did not believe in God. The concept of a world without God would have been unthinkable back then. Of course we all know that ideas that are “off-strategy” are illogical and therefore likely to be stupid and unworkable.

So the statement made by Randy Pillon could be re-stated as “There is no such thing as a good idea that is illogical.” Of course not. By definition if it is illogical it is unlikely to be effective.

Oddly though’ many breakthrough business ideas are CREATIVE – they cannot be arrived at merely through a process of logical deduction. So for instance, before Starbucks came along with a $4.00 cup of coffee was the idea logical? No. It was a crazy strategy – but it was a brilliant idea. We can only agree that it was a great strategy – AFTER we see that it worked.

Tom Beakbane