Balancing Sideline Exploration-Exploitation – And Not Giving Up Too Soon

Balancing Sideline Exploration

In his TED talk about the importance of being perfect or exploring, Knut Hanaes makes several interesting points for Student Sideliners – particularly about balancing your idea development, and being willing to stick with it during challenging times.

He talked about how important it is to “exploit”, or imitate a successful similar business when crafting a business idea or Sideline. It just makes sense to see what is being done well by someone else and emulate those parts of the venture that will increase your potential for success. So if you wanted to start a student-to-student tutoring service, then study the web site and reviews of a currently successful student tutoring service.

That said, he also reviewed the importance of spending time to “explore”, or innovate new angles or twists to delivering your Sideline idea – how to make it unique and therefore more appealing to potential customers.

He cautioned against spending too much time perfecting your current idea when the reality of business requires that we balance this tendency with the need to search out new and different applications of your idea. It is the balancing of imitation and innovation that generates the most fun, profit, and sustained success of a Sideline.

Knut Haanaes: To perfect or to explore? Strategy traps for businesses
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