Reverse Engineering Part 2: Business Strategy

Written by Dennis Riley

December 27, 2019

This is part two of a three-part series. Didn’t get a chance to read part 1? Click here

We’ve got the result. It’s time to strategize. I like to use triangles when explaining reverse engineering because triangles have a nice wide base and everything goes up to one point or one result.

When reverse engineering, we start at the results. You want to put your result, which was explained in part 1, at the top of your triangle. The triangle represents the steps you need to take this year to help achieve your result.

Think of the reverse engineering triangle like a mountain. When you are at the base of the mountain, you can’t see the top. What you want to do before climbing the mountain is to put yourself at the peak of the mountain(how you get to the top of this hypothetical mountain without climbing it is up to you, but let’s just say you took a helicopter ride to the peak). The view from the peak is totally different from the view at the base. When you are at the peak you can see different paths that lead to the peak, and you start to find a path on your way back to camp.

Getting back to your own triangle, I want you to write down all the things that could have happened right before you get to the top. Then what you do is you keep asking the question, then what happened? So if you say, I had this type of client that got me to my top or my result, then what happened? How’d you get that client and how many of those clients did you have to get to the top? You just start brainstorming all the stuff that could have happened right before you got to the top and you keep doing that over and over and over again.

You would think that once you found a path from the top to the base you will be ready to go? Wrong. Think about our mountain example, a mountain is not one dimensional, it has multiple sides meaning there are different paths to the top of the peak. Sadly we’re not fortune tellers, there are multiple things that can happen that could affect your path to get to your goal. So the more different paths you discover to get to your result the easier it will be to pivot your strategy if circumstances change throughout the year.

Like what you read and want to learn more? Check out part 3 of this series here.


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