Product Strategy vs Video Games: Expansion

There are 3 common expansion pitfalls can lead to defeat in the strategy games like StarCraft, AOE, Total War, etc.

  • 1. Expanding too early can leave you lacking resources to defend your existing bases and secure new ones, making you vulnerable to competitor attacks.
  • 2. Expanding too late can result in losing competitive advantage to opponents, making it harder to catch up during the later stages of the game
  • 3. Expanding without proper information, such as scouting, can lead to choosing weak spots to expand (e.g. too far, terrain disadvantages), making you an easy target for opponents

These also happen in Product Strategy

  • 1. Expanding too early, before achieving Product-Market Fit (PMF) and securing a steady revenue stream from main use cases, can result in an unfocused strategy that leads to half-baked products, causing customers to turn to competitors.
  • 2. Expanding to new markets or new use cases too late can result in losing competitive advantage to competitors. This usually happens with established companies as they are slow to change, however, they may have enough resource to fight back or acquire their competitors.
  • 3. Expanding without proper market research can lead to finding yourself in a crowded space or a market that doesn’t align with your core business.

Ps: (1) often happens in startups (and myself), as entrepreneurs easily get excited about new opportunities and have more room to iterate.
Ps2: If possible, consider making allies through ecosystem partnerships instead of trying to conquer the world alone

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