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Monday, July 8, 2013

The Triad of Success - Vision, Process, Execution

Dungeon by David Barnas
A loud roar awakens you. You wake up in a dusty, old dungeon. It was supposed to be a casual night out and you have no idea how you got there. You remember meeting an attractive stranger but after that it is all blurry.

You hear that roar again. As you are not keen on discovering its source, you pick up your backpack and head for the open door. It must be your lucky day. What's the point of a dungeon if the door is left open?


You can either follow the stairs up or go through the corridor right. As you were disoriented before, you are not entirely sure where the sound came from. All you know is that you must get out somehow.

You have no idea how big the complex is. Maybe you will find your way out within a couple of hours. In the worst case you never find your way out. It is not even certain that there is an exit available. Perhaps it is all just a cruel joke concocted by your captors.

As it really doesn't make much of a difference to you yet, you decide to enter the corridor. Not long after entering it you can hear something whizzing by and hear metallic clanking on the floor. To your horror you discover that you were almost hit by a dart. This dungeon is trapped!


Compass by gwgs
Since you want to avoid a grisly fate, you decide to be more careful. If there are dart traps, who knows what else? After regaining your courage and resuming the corridor you come by bony remains of previous captives. They left behind a rusty old compass, a spool of yarn and a sword. You decide to take them as their previous owners likely won't need them anymore.

The labyrinth seems endless but you carry on. Every once in a while you come by new dangers. At times you can see rats and cockroaches scurrying around. Strangely you start to become accustomed to your new environment. You start to pick up new skills and learn to forage. Even though thirst and hunger are constant threats, you learn to follow the signs and know where to look for. Lichen doesn't taste that bad after all.

The roars seem more distant. It looks like you may have escaped that fate. You still have no idea when you are going to see home again, though, but doggedly you keep on progressing, hopefully in the right direction.


As you pick up skills and get used to dungeon life, you start to develop ways of doing things. You will always look for traps in the same way. The same goes for charting new areas. You always go right till you can no more and trace back. That way you can be certain that you have gone through each area and avoid getting lost.

Your past experience helps you to understand which plants to avoid. It also gives you idea of warning signs. If there is a large area without any lichen on the wall, you know something is amiss. Perhaps there is a nasty trap or a hidden door even. On longer term you are able to optimize your dungeon crawling skills and they way you use them. Perhaps there is hope after all.

The End?

Knight, horse and word by Hartwig HKD
You may or may not discover the exit. I will leave this story purposefully open ended. In practice each startup/project/person/younameit has a story of its own. The dungeon was just a metaphor that describes the struggle and challenges. That roar was caused by the fear of failure. It was the impetus that forced you on the move.

I borrowed the triad - vision, execution, process - from Chuck Blakeman's "Making Money Is Killing Your Business". You will require each of these to be successful. You might for instance dream to get out of the dungeon but fail in execution. Or you might have the skills but for some reason you might want to make friends with the monster. I have heard minotaurs make bad friends though maybe you could get lucky.

I hope this brief post gave you something to think about. The more I think about my past projects against this framework, the better I understand why something worked and why something didn't. The nice thing about it is that you can apply the three concepts on some current project of yours and think it through. Is there something you can improve?