Where is the Exit?

Rita Gunther McGrath thinks we are all a bit stodgy. We glomm onto stuff way longer than we should. And in doing so, we miss out on opportunities to do better stuff. She sees this as an unwelcome by-product of seeking long term “competitive advantage”.

She has a point. Consider, for example, what you think is the most valuable thing in your life. We might identify any one of a million different things. But my bet is few would identify a new opportunity as “numero uno”.

This may change. And if it does, we can expect a change in the way we speak. We will start hearing fun and opportunity more in the same sentence. And we will start hearing a lot more about “exit”. Mark Cuban makes the interesting point that developing “exit” opportunities makes Silicon Valley so successful.

So what is “exit”? Exit is the point in the development of a project where the founders hand over the baton to the next generation. They and their backers exit to do other stuff or go snorkling off St. Barths. As you can imagine, developing exit opportunities is not easy.


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