Not all opportunities are your opportunities
At the end of 2022, Ma Huateng held a “training executives” conference, which made headlines in the industry.
Tencent currently has 108,836 employees, and more than 100 employees attended the meeting. It can be said that Ma Huateng’s speech was most likely intended for executives.
He criticized a lot of bad business development, the general meaning is summarized as follows:
1. Resolutely cut off non-core business, don’t miss it.
2. There is not much time left for PCG business (Tencent News, Tencent Video, etc.).
3. There are too few high-quality games in Tencent games.
4. The problem of corruption is shocking, and I no longer believe in buying volume (buying traffic).
Behind these contents, Ma Huateng actually expressed his disappointment with the executives. In other words, Ma Huateng is teaching these executives how to be a boss and how to formulate strategies.
In my opinion, strategy has two cores: 1. Identify what is an opportunity; 2. Identify what is your opportunity.
The second question is much more important than the first.
But unfortunately, novice entrepreneurs like to spend time on the first question, researching the track, timing, and business model-in fact, this is a super misunderstanding.
Is A an opportunity? – This is a simple question. Is new energy an opportunity? Of course it is, and on a scale of trillions; is artificial intelligence an opportunity? Of course it is, and the scale is hundreds of billions.
But the question is, knowing this, can you do it? of course not. Once everyone thinks this is an opportunity, they will all rush in. If this is not your opportunity, you will soon be defeated in the stage of competition where bayonets are popular.
Judging from Ma Huateng’s speech this time, many of Tencent’s products died in this way. And the mistakes that entrepreneurs often make, Tencent executives are also making mistakes.
Many of Ma Huateng’s speeches revolved around this issue.
”Non-core business should be cut off” “Don’t tell me what opportunities you see” “How big can you be? What can you do if you make it bigger?” “In the future, don’t tell me the story of buying volume, I will I don’t believe this anymore.” “Even if someone else can succeed, it’s not suitable for Tencent”…
More sharp criticism focused on the PCG business. In the past 20 years, most of Tencent’s “failed or about to fail” products have been concentrated in this business, such as Tencent News, Tencent Video, Tencent Sports, Weishi, etc. Ma Huateng’s speech related to it was: being led off by friends and businessmen, we saw others gain weight, so we followed suit, and found that what we gained was fat, and we couldn’t beat our opponents.
On the first issue of the strategy, Tencent executives did a good job: recognized that short video is an opportunity, and made Weishi, which was launched 3 years earlier than Douyin, and finally lost to Douyin Group; recognized that information aggregation is an opportunity. Trend, launched products such as Tencent News, at least 1 to 2 years earlier than “Today’s Toutiao”, and finally lost to Douyin Group.
So, what’s the use of being able to recognize “whether A is an opportunity”? Not very useful.
It is more critical to identify “whether A is your opportunity” – ignoring this problem, entrepreneurs will fall into endless “addition”, and find that there are many opportunities in the market. Once the resources, funds, and manpower in hand are sufficient, they will Unable to resist the temptation, he tried to seize every opportunity, but in the end he found that he was no match for his competitors and died under the bayonet.
Tencent executives are like this, and then take Tencent News as an example. According to Leidi.com, before 2018, Tencent News attached great importance to the high-quality original route, but in 2018, it changed its leader and began to embrace the “Today’s Toutiao” model and take the “content + algorithm” route. In the end, the new opportunity was not seized. Instead, old users were driven away.
Therefore, entrepreneurs should think more about what their opportunities are. “Discover Opportunities” will only allow you to do multiple-choice questions, while “Discover Your Opportunities” will select the only correct answer.
So, how to identify “A is your opportunity”? We must learn to distinguish “genes” and study more “people” rather than “things”. After all, “genes” are human genes.
I meet a lot of startup teams every year. Many people will enthusiastically introduce his business to me, but I only pay attention to two questions: one is where the entrepreneur has achieved achievements in the past; the other is where is the field he loved in the past. If what he’s going to do doesn’t fit those two questions, I’ll simply say “you can’t make it.”
Now many of Tencent’s “genes” do not depend entirely on Ma Huateng, but on Tencent’s executives. What executives are good at, Tencent will do what they are good at, instead of what friends and businessmen are good at, Tencent will follow suit.
In general, Tencent’s operating conditions are good, but even so, Ma Huateng can still reflect on the most serious problems of the company without losing his entrepreneurial mentality, which is worth learning for entrepreneurs.