Better, Simpler Strategy - Deepstash
Better, Simpler Strategy

Better, Simpler Strategy

Felix Oberholzer-Gee

9 ideas


1.6K reads



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The Premise: Value First

The Premise: Value First

Some companies are far more successful than others, even when they appear nearly identical on the surface.

For example, Home Depot is significantly more profitable than its competitor Lowe's, despite both being home improvement retailers.

The key difference lies in how exceptional companies create value for customers, employees, and partners - not just how much profit they can extract.

The message is clear: focus on value first, profit second.


238 reads


If your product is great, it doesn’t need to be good.



247 reads

Value for Customers: Willingness To Pay

Value for Customers: Willingness To Pay

Focus on increasing willingness to pay (WTP), not just sales.

Go beyond quality and branding to leverage complements that raise WTP.

Like Amazon selling Kindle e-readers and ebooks together.

  • Identify and double down on the few key value drivers that influence customer purchase decisions.
  • Eliminate unnecessary features that don't move WTP.
  • Value for customers creates competitive advantage.


203 reads

Value for Employees and Suppliers: Willingness To Sell

Value for Employees and Suppliers: Willingness To Sell

Reduce willingness to sell (WTS) of talent and suppliers. Compensation shifts value, better working conditions create value. Improve collaboration to reduce supplier costs.

  • Fear of uneven benefit sharing limits potential.
  • Share gains to encourage win-wins.
  • Lowering WTS increases commitment and flexibility.


174 reads



  • Boost productivity through scale, learning and management basics.
  • The best firms are far more productive than laggards. Management tools like goal setting and feedback are powerful but underused.
  • Scale and learning effects can also substantially lower costs.
  • First mover advantage only lasts if learning is at an optimal pace.


156 reads

Map Value to Performance

Map Value to Performance

Cascade strategy with value maps that link value concepts to projects and KPIs. Illustrate how each activity raises WTP or lowers WTS. Connect strategic objectives to operational drivers.

This alignment empowers the organization to create value.


149 reads

Do the Right Thing

Do the Right Thing

Value must be the core, not profit. Business reputation suffers when value is neglected. Creativity applied to value benefits all.

Make life better for customers, employees and partners. This purpose leads to exceptional performance.


144 reads

Think Value, Profit Follows

Think Value, Profit Follows

When value drives decisions, profits follow. Vexing problems can be solved with value creation imagination. Business can raise standards of living when value sits at its core.

This is the path to broad prosperity.


137 reads


Value or profit is a false choice. Exceptional financial performance reflects value.



153 reads



Diplomatic Services operational officer


The book "Better, Simpler Strategy: A Value-Based Guide to Exceptional Performance" was written by Felix Oberholzer-Gee and was published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2021. The book offers a strategic framework for companies looking to achieve exceptional performance by doing less, and has been named one of the best strategy books of 2021.

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