Startup Hacks in Game of Thrones

Let’s take a moment to learn a few business techniques from a powerful story.

Game of Thrones is a TV show set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos and interweaves three major narrative plots. The first narrative arc follows a civil war among several noble houses for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms; the second covers the attempts to reclaim the throne by the exiled last scion of the realm’s deposed ruling dynasty; the third chronicles the rising threat of the impending winter and the legendary creatures and fierce peoples of the North.

Game of Thrones is like a business, everyone is fighting to be the king of the market share in their industry. The war to own the throne is brutal; you either live or die, win or lose, be the master or be the slave to the masters fighting. Life does not favor you, whether you’re a good or bad person. That’s the world of business.

The key to winning is formed out of 4 major things:

  • Knowledge
  • Strategy
  • People
  • Promise

Knowledge: Knowledge is power. Characters who have survived so far in Game of Thrones have had information and reliable informants. Having information about the market that you are about to penetrate strengthens you. Appoint Google as your Minister of Whisperers and do your best to find people as reliable as Lord Varys, who have information and informants everywhere. With knowledge, you understand your market and the needs that are yet to be met. This understanding would help you strategize to position yourself to fulfill those needs. Fulfilling these needs would also put you at the top of your customer’s mind.

Strategy: Knowledge is nothing without implementation. Information strongly followed by action is where the true strength lies. Action in itself is not enough; calculated action (strategy) is what gives detailed insight into the goals and how to achieve it. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When planning your strategy, be attentive to your environment and listen to people. Be open to feedback and effect changes when necessary. Without a strategy, your business may die before it has a chance to kick-off (like Theon Greyjoy). Know when to cut your losses, regroup, and re-strategize.

People: Value people. Treat them with respect. Be confident but do not let it grow into an overgrown ego that steps on people’s toes without regard or reason (like Joffrey). People can be an asset for success or a catalyst for destruction. Be careful and treat them right to earn their loyalty.

Promises: When you make a promise, you indebt yourself. Just like the Lannisters, always pay your debts. Living up to your promise builds trust and makes way for you. Fulfill your promises to your employers, stakeholders and customers. A promise is a debt that can make or break you.

As a startup, these 4 things are instrumental and form the core of your survival in any industry.

 

Buckle up! Winter is coming

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