War games are simulations of the external environment to anticipate the external response and to proactively prepare for it.
What follows is an outline of Ben Gilad's book entitled Business War Games.
Compiled by Kristian Erik Hermansen
Part I: From Sand Table to Boardroom
Chapter 1: War Gaming Made Simple Marketing managers, brand teams, and product and project leaders should be able to run quick, cheap, and effective war games to: Assess and anticipate changes in their markets. Pressure-test global and regional strategies. Develop and test plans to go after existing competitors or defend against rising threats. "Insulate" new launches. Get a buy-in, identify gaps in market knowledge, and create a defensible business case. Hannibal’s victory The previous diagram depicts the initial positions. The Roman forces are on top. Both armies placed their infantry in the center, with a cavalry unit on each side. Note that Hannibal 's left cavalry wing was much larger than the right, and that his center was pitched forward. Because they enjoyed tremendous numerical superiority, the Romans attacked f rst, sending in their infantry. Hannibal knew that was what they were likely to do. He ordered his center to retreat and, at the same time, the large left-wing cavalry to start a flanking maneuver, overwhelming the numerically inferior Roman cavalry wing. In the heat of the advance, the Romans did not notice that they were being flanked from behind, and that Hannibal c infantry was drawing them into an arc. Then Hannibal 's center stopped retreating. The Roman legionnaires were surrounded. Sixty thousand of them perished that day, making it one of the bloodiest battles in the history of wars. War gaming is nothing more than role-playing in order to understand a third party, with the goal of answering: What will the opponent do? What then is my best option? War Gaming in Business: Where Does It Make the Most Sense? in testing a competitive plan-for a single product, a brand portfolio, a division, or a whole company. The "We've Already Taken This Into Account" Myth The Delusion of Absolute Performance War Games Without Computers Did Hannibal need a laptop? No. Why Not Game Theory? Their predictions of stable solutions are not consistent with observed behavior. Humans Make It Realistic role-playing games bring far superior results, because predicting human and organizational behavior is far beyond current mathematical models. War Games Without the War? In business, strategy is always about a third party (the customer) whose role in deciding who is a "victor" is rather complex and may involve keeping the competition alive rather than allowing for a decisive "victory." Would You Prefer "IRS"? "Iterations of Rivals' Strategics" So What Is the Best Way to War Game? put together a competitor's character. The 7 Tests of Effective War Gaming It has to be: Realistic. Empowering. Accessible. Lots of fun. Inexpensive. Simple. Transparent. To remember these seven tests, remember this simple acronym: An effective war game makes the manager a REALIST. Effective managers are neither optimistic nor pessimistic. They meet the market reality well prepared. Aren't Most Managers Already Realists? Maybe, but... The best strategies, the most rigorous research, the clearest of operating plans-all are undermined because the key people behind them have missed the reality of the situation for one reason or another. When to Play a War Game Formal Prerequisites for a War Game You need to make a decision, create a plan. There are external third parties whose reactions greatly affect the success of this decision, and you do not have direct intelligence on their intended reactions, nor are they inclined to provide you with an advanced copy of their plans. There is cost involved if your decision is a wrong one. Informal Prerequisites for a War Game Management allows for the possibility of plans to go wrong, and is willing to make changes to strategy to improve its odds under competitive pressure. Management allows a free exchange of information in a game. If your boss already made up his mind about a strategy, there is little point in running a game. When Not to Play War Games Some executives are narcissistic, and see their plans as infallible. It does not mean they have bad strategies. They simply cannot make good use of war gaming. I would not run a war game with either Lee Iacocca or Dick Cheney in the room. War Gaming and the More Traditional Planning Approaches War gaming does not replace strategic planning. Fringe Benefits of Effective War Games Sustained External Focus Intelligence gaps Buy-in Self-awareness Case Study: There's a New Sheriff in Town Let us sum up Ed's situation again, because so many managers can find themselves in a similar state on their way up. He needed to: Formulate a better strategy. Build a strong business case behind this strategy. Get a buy-in from key people. (We can call it the "3b" case for short.) The 3b Case as a Special Case of War Gaming Strategies that are created in a vacuum, succeed in a vacuum only. knowing who your competitor's habitual consultant is, is one good starting point to predicting its moves. A lot of good knowledge of the competitive reality resides with middle management and field people, not top management. a war game legitimizes the poking of "holes" and airing of blind spots in a company's strategy through the potential actions of rivals.
Chapter 2: Big war games, little war games, and what did they do without computers? Famous Military War Games Frederick the Great of Prussia actually took a mobile war gaming toolkit with him to all of his military operations. Otto von Bismarck, the "Iron Chancellor" of Prussia, was famous as well as notorious for his insistence on basing every political, diplomatic, and military move on a profound understanding of underlying dynamics and likely responses. Little Wars the Israeli hostage rescue operation in Entebbe, Uganda, shows just how the art should be practiced. Tiny War Games Back in the early 20th century, H.G. Wells published two books, Floor Games (1911) and Little Wars (1913), that offered a set of rules for playing war games using toy soldiers. War Games in a Different Context Great white sharks hunt sea lions. They show an ability to at least act in patterns that resemble those of a war gaming strategist: thinking ahead of the potential response from the other player. Now the question: Is your company the shark or is it the sea lion? The Move to Business War Games The discipline of finance has led the charge in responding to the post-World War II world of business, on two fronts: mitigating risk (corporate finance) influencing the top executive discourse. The risk piece, despite fits and starts, has generally worked well during the past 30 years: New financial instruments have given companies a new way to manage risk and expand their reach. Puts and calls, hedging of inputs (think Southwest and the price of oil), weather futures, and, of course, the use of options. Financial modeling and credit scoring allowed better risk management for lenders. Bank-based credit card lenders, for example, took a bath in earlier recessions, but made a bunch of money in the 1990s. The creative use of capital markets allowed companies to spread risk. The Capital Asset Pricing Model is the big example. A more-specific example is how mortgage-backed securities solved the problem of spreading out the payment streams during the life of the bonds. reducing strategy to a series of discounted cash flows (DCF), real options (the new game in town), or good old estimated profit-and-loss statements is a recipe for disaster. Just look at Enron, a wizard of P&Ls and forward-looking financial planning.
Part II: Competitors as Characters
Chapter 3: Can You Accurately Predict Competitors’ Moves? You don't need 100-percent accuracy to improve your plan's odds of success. All you need is a realistic and pragmatic assessment of competitors' most likely responses. Start here Competitors' moves do not happen in a vacuum. Market Imbalance Theories of market behavior can be roughly divided into two types: neoclassical equilibrium theories (including variants such as game theory and decisions under uncertainty) Schumpeterian market theories (named for Joseph A. Schempeter, author of Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy [Harper & Row, 1942]). In a stable market, opportunities are exhausted and rates of return tend to equalize, and there is no intrinsic reason to change the situation. Schumpeterian theory, on the other hand, regards markets as in a constant state of flux What Causes Markets' Constant Imbalance? Michael Porter's Five Forces model of industry analysis is a good starting point. The Most Predictive Theory of Competitors' Behavior none has come even close to the predictive power of Michael Porter's pioneering Four Corners Model. Porter's model posits that competitors' behavior is influenced by 4 antecedents or "corners" in a balance-sheet type table, such as this one: Motivation Observed Behavior - Drivers - Management assumptions - Current strategy - Capabilities Porter advocated a closer look at what neuroscientists term automatic or unobserved processes, underlying observed behavior. New Neuroscience Research The result is the following four brain activities: Automatic cognitive. automatic cognitive process is a reflexive processing of percepts, such as in visual identification, language understanding, or quick physical reactions. Deliberate cognitive. Deliberate cognitive activities control rational thinking, such as calculations of economic value added (EVA) of projects. Automatic affective. Automatic affective activities apply where affects (feelings and moods) automatically create impressions based on memory and drives' states. Deliberate affective. Deliberate affective activities intervene mostly when one tries, for example, to deliberately imagine past emotional experiences in order to understand another person's feelings (such as in method acting). A 2003 study of gifts given to physicians by pharmaceutical companies reveals amazing results.' Physicians in this study adamantly denied being influenced in their prescription practices by those gifts despite experimental evidence to the contrary. The neuroscientists are quite clear on one thing: "The struggle between rapid unconscious pattern-detection processes and their slow, effortful modulation by deliberation is not a fair contest; so automatic impressions will influence behavior much of the time." Give the executives spreadsheets and they can make a case for anything according to their prior beliefs. So, in analyzing competitors, pay close attention to the left-hand side of Porter's Four Corners Model if you want to make accurate predictions. Do You Need Role-Playing? Predicting competitors' actions requires the ability to "read" others' minds, and, apparently, we are not all born equal with regard to this ability. Brodmann 10 area in the frontal cortex. Mirror Imaging Companies spend 20 minutes reassuring themselves that they know what competitors will do. And yet acting is not serious? Managerial Biases The problem is that, without a rigorous framework to guide this thinking, research shows that managers are likely to fall into the following traps: Intuition takes over. Emotions take over. Over-optimism takes over. Myopia takes over. So use a state-of-the-art theory of competitors' real behavior The Secret to Amazing Predictions The art here is that of narrowing down the possibilities to those most likely moves. Predicting competitors' moves is similar to predicting hurricanes. So, What Are Competitors Most Likely to Do? Question # 1: "Is the Competitor Satisfied With its Present Position in the Market?" Performing Industry Imbalance Analysis Question # 2: "What Are the Competitor's Hot Buttons?" Identifying a Competitor's Corresponding Management Assumptions and Beliefs About the Market Question # 3: "What Are the Competitor's Blind Spots?" Comparing #1 and #2 Bringing It All Together Obvious vs. Most Likely Playing the Host So, in the end, predicting what your management will or will not do is as important as predicting what competitors will.
Chapter 4: Competitors as Characters Get to the essence of competitors by understanding their character. Characters If nothing more, a war game is a great catalyst to push managers to actually research their competitors, rather than rely on their anecdotal, personal experience with then. How Did Al Pacino Play Scarface's Tony Montana? There are four elements to getting under a character's skin (their order does not matter) : Use a "Magic If." Use the "Magic If' within a script, a plot, or a story line. Look for a "theme." Use sense memory. "Acting is hard because it requires not just the study of books...but constant study of human behavior.” Strategy Analysis and Competitors as Characters when sitting in the breakout room having to make sense of the rims of data about a competitor, give our heuristic devices a try. The Shortcomings of Game Theory and Other Mathematical Approximations of Human (Competitor) Behavior Prisoner’s dilemma debunked due to non-REALIST nature
Part III: Step-by-step
Chapter 5: Step 1: Is it time to war game? The Basic Requirements Use a war game if: You need to draw a plan or decide on a strategy. The success of the plan depends on the real-world moves and countermoves of competitors (and other third parties). You don't have direct information on those intended moves. You don't want to just retake up hypothetical assumptions about what competitors' can do. You are not interested in a theoretical modeling of the market but in predicting what competitors are most likely to do to your plan so you can "competitor-proof" it as much as possible. A planning failure could be costly to you and the firm. Which Plans Call for War Gaming? Meeting a change in market conditions (so-called Landscape games; see the next section). Launching a new product or service. Entering a new market. Increasing share of a product/service Reviving a brand. Defending against a new competitor or against a growing threat of lower cost substitutes to your product/service. Fundamental questions answered by all war games are: What will competitors do? How can we outsmart them? Applying these two questions to the previous list of plans means you are looking for deeper insight on such problems as: How is the market most likely to shift in the next three years, and how can we meet these changes better than competitors? How do we increase market share in our current markets without giving up the store and starting a price war? What is the best way to launch our new or improved prod uct/ brand against tough competitors? With what do we replace our current product when its life is over, and stay ahead of the competition? What is the best way to enter the Brazilian (Chinese, Israeli, Indian, Hungarian, and so on) market? How do we defend against new entry of molecules EL2043 and Pf7077 into our market? (This isn't a joke; it's pharmaceutical company lingo. That's the way they talk!) How do we take back the leadership position in this segment against competitors who are bigger, better financed, and better positioned in customer’s minds? How do we maintain our product leadership position against the rising power of low-cost Chinese manufacturers? You may not like the answers, but war games are the most realistic setting to place these questions on the table before going to market 1 Limitation The only limitation on simple, low-cost, transparent war games is that they should be focused on one industry, or one set of players at a time. Which War Games Are Appropriate? There are basically two types of games: games for formulating a new plan (Landscape games) games for testing an existing plan (Test games) Landscape Games Landscape games are aimed at unmasking the underlying, ambiguous changes in a market early on. Test Games Test games test an already developed strategy against the likely responses of competitors (and, at times, customers, potential alliance partners, government or industry regulators, distributors, and so forth). But What if They Do X? Hannibal won the battle against the much-larger Roman army because he predicted their most likely move, not because he planned against everything that could go wrong! So, No Testing Against Surprises? test against unexpected responses within the context of exposing blind spots in the host company's thinking.
Chapter 6: Avoid Potential War Gaming Traps: Bad Timing, Unreceptive Management, and Insular Culture Bad Timing Test failed: # 2 Test # 2 of any war game you decide to run is that the game must empower you to walk away from a bad plan. Unreceptive Management Tests failed: # 1, 6, 7 The result is often an unrealistic game, because confronting an unpleasant reality may meet with resistance. Thin-Skinned Executives Some research suggests that, as one climbs the corporate ladder, the ability to face criticism diminishes. Neurotic Managers Some executives who lack self-confidence, or are new to their positions and have a strong fear of failure, may want a game to go exactly as they envisioned it. Domineering Bosses The problem is that, if their style is aggressive enough, they will dominate the game to a point where others' perspectives and analyses will get depressed. Insular Culture Tests failed : #1, 4, 6, 7 Sometimes a company's culture can work against an effective game. A "not invented here" culture will prevent strategic options from being superior. A "harmony at all cost" culture will prevent discussions from pointing out blind spots and will confine confrontation to polite exchanges. A paranoid culture will prevent transparent discussions. A cynical culture will treat any discussion during a war game as useless.
Chapter 7: Step 2: The Teams -- Who Do We Not Invite? Note: The following rules of thumb apply to games lasting between one and one and a half days, consistent with the need to keep the game inexpensive and accessible to middle managers. Rule of Thumb # 1: The Number of People in a Game Should be in the Range of 12-48. Rule of Thumb #2: The Number of Players per Team Should Not be Less Than 3 and No More Than 8 Rule of Thumb # 3: The Number of Teams Should. Not Exceed. 6 Who to Invite Your team, of course. Other people in the organization who have experience facing these competitors in other markets or knowledge about competitors' characteristics. If possible and practical: Competitors' former employees. (Beware of never asking them for proprietary information. They can contribute significantly to understanding the competitors' character, though.) People whose support you need in order to accomplish the plan's goals. Representatives of other functions with whom the plan should be coordinated for execution (production, legal, R&D, and so forth). People who have good knowledge of additional third parties in your market, such as customers, distributors, and regulators (according to their relevance to your situation). Who to Invite Selectively and Cautiously Advertising agencies. Research vendors. Customers. Who Not to Invite Easily offended people. Shy people or people with a fear of speaking up. Very junior employees. Loud and over-aggressive people. Un-fun people. Senior executives who are thin-skinned, neurotic, or domineering. Team Composition and Balance Size Matters Games that are played to pressure-test business unit strategy, at a global or regional level, are by nature played with more participants and at a higher level. Competitors' Teams The rule is to strive for diversity of perspectives and experiences, but it is a flexible rule. Diversity is enhanced with: Staff and field managers. Various functional skills. Experience and knowledge of the external environment. Different personalities. Personalities Though the team majority will be made up of hardworking, dedicated, and toe-the-line managers, each team should have one "troublemaker." The Home Team You should put courageous people on the home team. The role of the home team is to bring an objective, market-oriented perspective to the plan. The home team should leave the obvious to the competitor teams who are going to have a field day exploiting obvious weaknesses. Who You Should Not Put on the Home Team Try not to put the core members of the team that worked on the plan on the home team. Where Should You Put Decision-Makers? You don't have to have senior executives in your game. If you do, however, here are a few rules of thumb: Put the most senior person in the room on a competitors' team, typically the largest (or most pressing) competitor. If the game sponsor is a very senior executive, such a general manager or president of a division, or the company's CEO, and he or she expresses an interest in playing, put them on "jury duty." Senior-Executives-Only Games Executives-only games fail Test #1 of Effective War Gaming: They are unrealistic. So stay away from games saturated by high-powered people. Let the large consulting firms make millions off them. Summary Suggested Teams' Composition Bulk of participants: marketing managers (including market research) plus competitor experts (competitive intelligence managers, insight managers, K1VI managers, former competitors' employees) Augmented by: Sales managers, operations people, a finance analyst, technology/R&D managers. And always try to include a troublemaker or two! Team Leadership When the game is a "family-intimate" game, without a clear boss on a team, teams assign "leadership" roles naturally to the first person who takes charge. Team Facilitators One person on the team, or an outside secretarial help, must capture the team's notes for both presentation and record.
Chapter 8: Deciding Who to Role-Play Which Competitors Should You Role-Play? Quite often, the choice is obvious. The largest competitors or those that have the ability to become large competitors. Strategic Grouping The importance of strategic groups is their effect on how their members react to change in the environment. Competitors in your cluster use a similar type of assets and similar strategies to go after the same customers you do ! Who Looks Like You? Before you war game, draw a quick and intuitive map defining the clusters in your industry based on major strategic differences, not tactical moves. No Clusters? No Problem If you can't think of strategic clusters in your industry, don't feel bad: You are in good company. Porter’s competitive convergence Composite Profile A composite profile minimizes the differences between the competitors in the service of creating a sense of their character and, therefore, their likely response. Role-Playing Other 3rd Parties Consider these cases the exception, though. Most war games are about competitors.
Chapter 9: Step 3: Intelligence and then Some gather credible intelligence and prepare a briefing book for the game's participants to be able to role-play a competitor as realistically as possible The Absolutely, Positively Necessary Information What do we want to know about a character? What are the character's age and background? What are the character's relationships with others and with the physical surrounding? What is the character's physical state of being? What is the character's emotional state? What does the character want? What does the character presently do? What immediate precedents caused the character to do this? How does the character perceive him/herself? What prevents the character from accomplishing his or her objectives (from within and without)? Team Briefing You will find the task imminently easier if-'you think of the competitor data as clues to the competitor's character. Where did it come from? Competitor's history What has it kept from its past? Competitor's culture What is it doing now? Product market position. Relationships with distributors. Relative strength with customers. Strength of sales force, relative share of S&A cost, compensation of salespeople, their skill level. Marketing approach: advertising, promotion. Production essentials Research prowess Financial ratio analysis (comparative to you)/overall cost position: Is it a low-cost leader? Depth of management: Are the young as good? Corporate overall portfolio strength. What does it want? The competitor's stated goals (especially financial). Its real "bottom-line" expectations from the business unit, brand, or product you are up against. How does it think? Habitual Large Consulting Firms (HLCF) used by competitor's management. Executives' background (professional, personal, educational). Anyone parachuting from the HLCF? More important is to get some background on the executives you are facing with your product or brand than on the top brass at corporate. Internal politics: Who is influential? Who is rising? What camps are formed? Board composition and board-CEO relationships. Rubber stamp? Independent agendas? Wimps? Role models? The place of the product/brand/business unit you are going against in the parent's company portfolio. Is it important? Is it a cash cow? How does it feel? Governmental and legal actions against the company. How is its recent performance (especially on growth, market share, profits, ROI, and share price) compared with past performance and publicly stated goals? Group Briefing Include in this portion whatever is available from this list: General articles from the business press (The Economist is by far the best, followed by the Wall Street Journal) on the industry as a whole. Wall Street analysts' reports on the industry as a whole. Trade magazine overview articles of the state of the industry and future trends. Market research studies and surveys about the consumer/customer statistics, characteristics, and emerging trends. Any news reports about acquisitions, mergers, entry by new players. Any significant data about supply chain: major supply trends (availability and prices), labor trends, and so forth. General articles about substitute industries and their trends Sources human and published. They are also known as primary and secondary. If you have the money, conduct some interviews If you invited salespeople into the game, they have a lot of tactical primary intelligence on customers and competitors. Your engineers, scientists, and operation managers taking part in the game have some knowledge of competitors' production and R&D capabilities. Pay Attention to What They Do, Not What They Say Quite often, a company's communication with the outside world goes through PR firms and internal communications departments. Pay Attention to What They Say, Not Only What They Do The last section's rule of thumb has one exception. If a company says outrageous things, it is worth paying attention, as you can glimpse a character underneath. Who Should Prepare the Intelligence Briefing? The short answer is your market or competitive intelligence (CI) manager.
Part IV: Running a Business War Game
Chapter 10: Step 4: Let’s Play! A Real Game Hour by Hour Game 1: Reviving a Brand The Settings This is a description of a real game, played in the early 2000s, modified to protect the proprietary nature of the host company's information. The industry gamed was beverages. The Plan to Be War Gamed The global brand director and his team put together a "brand revival" plan that called for attacking the market leader aggressively and taking share away from it. The Game's Structure The game called for four teams with eight managers on each team, for a total of 32 players. Game Type Test game. The brand team prepared a plan and the game was called for to test it against market response. Game Plan Round 1: After a short presentation from the brand team, the four teams would break out to role-play competitors. Round 2: The host team would be dispersed among the other teams. Round 3: Having survived dynamic consistency tests (testing against competitors' likely reactions), suggestions for improvements would be examined for internal consistency (with the company's overall strategy) and external consistency (with the identified market disequilibrium). Pre-game Preparations Comment: Small touches such as a photo of the competitors' executives in charge of this category, a sample of competitors' products, and paraphernalia (competitors' logos, t-shirts, caps) help teams get in character. Use your imagination! Hour-by-Hour Instructions (and Running Commentary) 8:00 Start the game by putting the existing plan on the table. 8:15-10:00 Introduce the methodologies. Remember: These methodologies work together to reach one goal: accurate predictions of competitors' likely moves. 10:00 Introduce the first round. 1:00-3:00 Let teams present their findings. 3:00-4:00 Introduce the second round. 4:00-7:00 Let the teams present their recommendations and battle each other. 7:00 Bring the game to a close with a clear conclusion. Game 2: Launching a New Product The Settings The industry in this real-world game was pharmaceutical, an industry that considers itself a special case, with its own unique business model. The Plan to Be War Gamed The VP in charge of the therapeutic area (TA, the pharma industry's equivalent of a business unit)' for which the drug was developed asked the brand team to prepare a launching plan. Game Type Landscape Game Hour-by-Hour Instructions With Commentary 8:00 Here are the essential assumptions behind the brand team's intended launch plan, the way they were presented by the brand manager: 10:00-12:00 Teams were sent to breakout rooms. 1:00-3:00 The teams presented. 3:00-4:30 Teams are sent to develop improvement to the launch plan. Is it even possible to salvage the plan? 4:30-7:00 Teams battle over strategic options for RFH. 7:00 The exhausted VP of the TA thanked the participants.
Chapter 11: Implementing the Game’s Results At the End of the Game... Step 1: Collect All Analyses. Step 2: Do Not Leave Confidential Documents in the Room. Step 3: Disseminate a Summary of the Game Among Participants. Implementing the Game's Results Communicating Decisions Management should send an update to the game participants. Reaping Hidden Benefits War games create a "competitive database" that can last for years if stored and updated effectively. These simple steps will ensure effective use of the capital: Store the predictions and the rationale behind them in a file. Ask someone from the competitor's team to follow up on the predictions within a certain time period, and update you. If the predictions were off, analyze the reason and update the competitor's character. If the predictions were on target, notify other members of your organization Make sure to "cc" top management on the previous memo. It can't hurt, can it? Strengthening Intelligence Capabilities A war game uncovers your organization's intelligence capability-or lack thereof. You can ignore it, or you can capitalize on the findings. The game revealed major intelligence gaps: critical things you didn't have a clue about. The game revealed minor gaps: tactical details you would be happy to have had but actually affected no real change in your strategy.
Chapter 12: Strategic Junctures How do you prove a war game is effective? When Is Hindsight Valuable? Not Always Yogi Berra is credited with saying it is hard to predict, especially the future. "Looking back, the should have done something three years ago." The Fox That Outfoxed the Mouse Strategic Juncture 1: The first war game should have been run by Disney shortly after Malone and Murdoch announced their marriage, and ESPN's CEO defected to the competition. Fox Gets Serious Strategic Juncture 2: At this point in 1997, Murdoch was showing his hand. He was going after regional franchises-both teams and TV stations. Who Knew Flat Drinks Would Be All the Rage? The acquisition of a leading sports-drink brand (Gatorade) was a way for Quaker Oats to diversify its sources of revenue. Quaker bought Snapple, outbidding Coca Cola, paying $1.7 billion. The purchase of Snapple in 1994 did not turn out to be such a good investment for Quaker Oats. It sold it at a big loss in 1997. During the period Quaker controlled Snapple (between 1994 and 1997), Snapple lost 23 percent of its annual revenues. When Technology Culture Blinds the Decision-Makers Technologically focused companies tend to miss out on social/demographic changes that greatly affect the buyer in their industry. Motorola was slow to recognize the consumer market potential for mobile telephony. Strategic Juncture 1: At this point the shift from business to consumer adoption was in its early mode. In 1991, The Economist predicted the widespread adoption of mobile phones. Prices of Phones Dropping Strategic Juncture 2: It was time to make a technology bet. But technology is not a strategy. When Motorola missed the signs for the rapid adoption of cellular phones by consumers, it missed the early opportunity to adapt.