Where We Are Now: May 13, 2020

Work From Home — Day 58

In-Flight Course Corrections

6:00AM PST

Team –

If you have not already, please complete our 2nd SIP Market Dynamics Survey as it closes at 5PM PST today.

I am a huge advocate of planning your business and executing your business plan. If not, others will out-execute you as they have a business plan. Pretty simple. May not be right, but it’s 100 percent directional.

That said, a business plan needs contingencies and in flight course corrections in normal times much less when head winds are turbulent, if not violent.

A few reflections and one current day event that illustrates course correction in a huge way.

Let these stories sink into your own vision:

  • In the late 90s, a younger man came to visit with me in my office – commercial real estate at the time. He said, “I am five years into my ten-year business plan, and I need some advice.” I reflected on my own career and tenure in order to try to share meaningful advice. It dawned on me “in flight” that I was “twenty years into my ten-year plan so I am not sure I am your right mentor.” This caused me to course correct in-flight.
  • In late 2008/early 2009 the business plan I was pursuing in Marin County was met with exceptional adversity, The Great Recession. In flight, we responded by aggressively accelerating our vision and bought Pacific Union.
  • Yesterday, Uber was rumored to be buying GrubHub. What a move in a down cycle. The combined entity would enjoy 48 percent market share in food delivery vs rival DoorDash with 47 percent share. Was this always in Uber’s plan or an in-flight course correction?

Most may have expected publicly traded Lyft to make this move to advance vs Uber, who already had a robust food delivery business. DoorDash had just filed for its IPO in February 2020. Postmates had reportedly just withdrawn its IPO filing.

In the adjacent service of grocery delivery, Instacart is currently in talks to raise new financing at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion to $14 billion representing a 50 percent increase over its 2018 financing round.

Who saw all this coming? In-flight course corrections and aggressive moves in the down-cycles are powerful.

Yesterday’s news caused me to look internally. Have we properly made “in-flight” adjustments?

How are you driving and migrating your business to course correct in our current flight plan? I keep thinking about the good become great. The consumer’s flight to quality. The true value of advice over discount.

Next week’s Path Forward, Tuesday at 2PM, will be all about in-flight course corrections. This is market share time. This is time for you to shine in your sphere. How have you engaged your sphere to expand geographically, increase your price point, or partner to create a meaningful team offering?

It’s not about a single transaction. It’s about you, your approach, your career, and your clients. Are you on the right course? You ready? Please let me know your story. We will share it on the Path Forward next week.

This is Where We Are Now.



Mark A McLaughlin