Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Question for the Perceptive Strategist

Source: Random

Sunzi essay states that there are  five general types of obstacles that the perceptive strategist could encounter in any strategic endeavor. 

Mountains, valleys, rivers, flat lands and salt marshes are those five.  (Some translations have categorize mountains and valleys as one type.)

Regarding to specificity, there is a difference.

The Question of the Day
How  does one applies this perspective to their strategic endeavor? 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Applying Physics to Strategy: Staying Covert While Avoiding Being Overt

(updated at 09.23.17,  2100 hrs)

"The more precisely the POSITION is determined,  the less precisely the MOMENTUM is known"  - Werner Heisenberg and the Uncertainty Principle

How does this applies to strategy?

The momentum of an object is always moving. Therefore the position is varying.

The strategic state of change is always in play.  … Knowing the rate of change can be challenging.   

When the competition knows that you know their position or that they know that you know something about a forth-coming opportunity.  Depending on their leadership and the efficacy state of their strategic foundation (economics,  logistics, etc.) they could change their course  of action, which then adjusts the macro state of the given strategic situation.  

Capitalizing on the multiplier of exploiting "inside" intelligence while preventing the competitor from getting the informational advantage that you know something relevant about them is the essence of superior strategic maneuvering.

Lesson: When competing in a chaotic setting, the perceptive strategist usually stays covert while avoiding being overt. ... 

Side Note
Whenever we decide to publish our Strategic Assessment/Positioning book, there will be a few examples on applying physics to strategy.   ... 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The New England Patriots Win!

Offense scores and thrills the crowds. Nonetheless, it is always the defense that wins the championships.

Regardless of the 28-3 deficit, the Patriots defense held their position on the third quarter, preventing the Falcons from increasing their lead while scoring the necessary points to tie the game. The Patriots later scored on a running play during overtime and prevailed in this "uber celebrated" sporting event.

Click here and click here for the NY Times perspective of this game.  ... Interestingly, they predicted the Falcons as the possible winner of the Super Bowl game.

It is time to return to the reality of life. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Assessing Super Bowl 51 (Scenario Analysis) Updated

Source: Sox and Dawgs
(updated 02.05.17)

Those who are statistical fanatics, would prefer to examine specific data like the ranking of the receivers on 3rd down passing situations (based on the various field positions) and the quantity of knockdowns and sacks in a progression mode from the first game to the 18th game.

For this post, we decided not to dwell into the statistical specifics (the injuries, the quality of opposition, the depth, the offensive efficiency, the defensive efficiency, the individual offensive vs the opposing defensive match-up, the coaching comparisons, etc) of both teams, lets focus on a simple projection of this Super Bowl game.

The Grand Projection
Source: Fox6

Currently, the odds favored the New England to win this Championship game. 

The Pro-Patriots Scenario
Patriots win if the two or more of the following three conditions occurred:
  • the Patriots scores first while implementing a slowdown methodical run game that prevents the Atlanta offense from getting on the field;
  • the Falcons running backs cannot consistently penetrate toward the 2nd line of the defense; and
  • the Falcons passing game is nullified if the Pats pass rush influences the Falcons quarterback.
We are surmising that the Patriot's game plan will be similar to these two following approaches
Approach#1: Influencing the opponent to implement their alternative offensive option
The Bill Belichick's Patriots defended the St Louis Rams by implementing a defensive backs-based defensive approach in 2002. Challenging them to run the ball while preventing them from passing the ball.    

Approach#2: Influencing the opponent to play defense
In 1991, NY Giants defended the Buffalo Bills by keeping their high scoring offense off the field.  They effectively ran the ball into the heart of the Buffalo's defense while preventing the Bills from getting the ball. Bill Belichick was the Giants defensive coordinator who ran a defensive backs-based "bend but don't break" defensive alignment where they dared the Buffalo offense to run the ball because they understood the tendencies of the opposing QB and the limitations of their offensive scheme.

Andre Reed, a former Buffalo Bills player also believes in this possibility.

While Atlanta possesses the capability to play "the comeback and catch up" offense,  we doubted if their defense can dominate the New England's offense.

The Pro-Falcons Scenario 
The Falcons could win as long if they score first and dominates the ball possession time factor by passing the ball and completing intermediate routes and long passes consistently with the tactical approach of numeric mismatches.  The consistency of positive passing will not only spread the opposing offense, but it will stage them to execute inside run plays

Atlanta could surprise New England with a hurry up no huddle offense approach on the first two drives of the game. If they score on both drives and if Patriots offense is not able to respond with their own scores, the NE fans will be expecting a long day.    

If Matt Ryan (Falcons QB) consistently hits his receivers on those intermediate to long routes, we expected Falcons to win. However, if the Pats defense are able to influence Ryan to run and pass or influences the Falcons to execute their run game , their chances to shutting down the Falcons offense increases.

The lynchpin of the Falcons offensive success begins with the center of the offensive line.  ... If the all-pro center Alex Mack is unable to play 100%, the Falcons passing game will falter. ... One can expect the New England's defense's to pressure him to break.  Do not expect the second string player behind Mack to perform in the same level as the starter.  ...  Historically, most second string players are usually unable to play up to that level in a championship game of this magnitude.
Predictions of Possible Scenarios
This game is a contest between the top scoring offense vs. the top scoring defense.

If the Falcons takes a minimum of 10 points lead into half time, the advantage favors them. 

If the Patriots takes a minimum of 10 points lead into half time, they will be grinding their opponent by running the ball into the heart of the Falcons defense.

If the game is even or near parity, the special teams on both sides become quite relevant.  Experience-wise, New England has a slight edge in this category.

In this competitive terrain, securing the two second advantage is the name of the game.  Research tells us that both teams have been able to adjust on the fly, especially if the game goes sideways for them.

If the New England Patriots win, the total score will be under 58.5 points.
However, if the Falcons win, the total score will be over 58.5 points (if the game becomes a shootout).

/// If the game did not go overtime, the total points would have been under 58.5.  Final Score:  NE Patriots 32  Atl. Falcons 28 

In summary, the Falcons possesses the grand advantage of winning regardless of the score because of their high powered offense, where the Pats would only prevail in an "under" game.

The Grand Football Maxim
Offense scores and thrills the crowds. Nonetheless, it is always the defense that wins the championships.

Side Notes
Before watching the game, wear your blue or gray hoodie and/or read your copy of Sunzi's Art of War. :)   This might evoke your strategic mind.  ... It might help you in the practice of knowing the next three moves in any endeavor that one pursues.  ... By knowing the next three possible moves, the successful strategist is ahead of the curve.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

If the Automated Robots Take Your Job, What's Your Next Best Move?

Regardless of the ascending trend of automation, creative strategic thinking is the key for the ambitious expediters and capitalists who does not want to lose their social-economic position in the global value-driven food chain.

How does one acquires this mindset? ... Viewing the technical realm of one's life without the Occam's Razor perspective, will enable one to examine the configuration of their terrain in terms of components, coverage, conditions and other tactical specifics.   

Click here and here for some interesting insights from McKinsey.   

More to come. 

*  Many thanks to Rick Matz of Cook Ding's Kitchen for these links 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Coffee-Serving Robots 1 Human Barista 0 (The Slow Decline of Human Labor)i

Since there are already sushi-serving machines, burger-serving robotspizza-serving robots and driver-less cars, it was only a matter of time that there is going to be a coffee-brewing robot.  

Click here, here and here on this latest coffee-serving innovation.

Second Look
We predicted this trend on May 2010, 

As mentioned in previous posts, the slow diminishing need for low-end human-driven labor will continue. 

The automation of the global economy is here.   ... It is only a matter of time, that Starbucks, McDonalds, Jack in a Box, Carls Jr. Taco Bell and other national fast food chains will have robots-driven storefronts soon.

Informational-processing jobs (financial industries, insurance industries, etc.) are next. 

Side Note

We are wishing good luck to those who have followed the bad advice of doing the simplest jobs, is ok with the belief  that those jobs will always be available.  

We surmised that they will be asking their "talented" fortune tellers to return their money.

Identifying Deception in the Global Economy

The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry, which can on no account be neglected.

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when we are far away, we must make him believe we are near.

- Lionel Giles translation of the Sunzi's Art of War

At this moment, anywhere in our world, there is a "sucker" game that is occurring.

One of those games is the army shell game where a street hustler would be on the street with a pellet and three plastic cups. He would take out the pea, shuffle the cups and take wagers on which cup that the pea was under.

At the end of the day,  he would return home with hundreds of dollars in his pocket.

I noticed that none of the suckers were able to choose which cup had the pea under it because the hustler  made such a show of shuffling the cups around that they never notice that the pea is hidden in his palm.”

Do not get deceived by large press  conferences or celebrity attended events.  .... Do not get hacked by smoke, mirrors, and bright, shiny objects (bso).  ... Do not get sucked by fake news or alternative news.  

Always mindfully assess the situation strategically from a third party perspective.