Tuesday, 20 November 2007

How can you tell if someone is inside opponents OODA loop?

This question is one the defining questions of this blog. And I started thinking about it more again after reading this blog post.

Fast reaction to your opponents actions is not getting inside his decision cycle. It is still reacting, when you should be the one whose actions your opponents have to react to.

Google got inside Facebook’s decision loop with Open Social. Apple got inside the cell phone industry’s decision loop with the iPhone.

Did Google really get inside Facebooks loop or merely reacted with their own similar product? And Apple, did they really surprise market with product that steals the profits from competitors pockets with practically no effort at all on their part? Where their competitors all 'what the fuck' when these products were announced?

I don't think so and I'd even say that both of these were mere reactions to their competitors.

One might even say that Nokia got inside Apple with it's own touchscreen phone. And what about HTC Touch which was available in Europe before iPhone.

It isn't getting inside opponents loop if you can't take advantage of your successes and consolidate. And repeat. And repeat. It doesn't matter if you get inside your opponents cycle once. You have to do it over and over again until you have beaten all opposition into oblivion.

I don't think that I have answered this question yet so I have to return to this in future. But point I want to make is that it is too easy to claim that company got inside competitors OODA loop after one success while wasn't necessarily able to sustain that success.


Ryan Clark Holiday said...

That writer doesn't understand the difference between innovation. Apple may have gotten inside the cell phone industry's loop but they didn't disrupt it--they didn't do anything with it. That was the essence of Boyd's loop, not just to diminish internal friction but to create it within the enemy.

Panu Kinnari said...

Agreed. And I think people say way too easily that someone got inside competitors loop. As I said in the post that you also have to stay inside, otherwise it won't matter.