The first thing what you need to do in a discussion of business strategy is to figure out what strategy is and why we care about it. Let's start with the second question first, why do we care? Well strategy, as you may well know, is one of those glamorous business words. Strategy is something that business managers spend a whole lot of time thinking about and talking about. It's something you may need to prove that you can do well before you get promoted beyond a certain level in an organization. And if you've got your own company, strategy may be the thing that determines whether you fail or succeed. So business strategy, I think we all agree, is quite important. But then it brings us back to the first question. What is strategy exactly? You probably think you know what it means already. Most people do. But the problem is strategy, as a word in business, is used in many different ways and we can't just choose one definition because all of the different flavors and varieties of the word turn out to be fairly important. So that's the first item on our agenda is to explore the different ways that we use the word strategy to provide examples of each so that we kinda know what we're talking about. Henry Mintzberg, one of the great strategy professors in the world, professor at McGill University, is famous for saying, it turns out that strategy is one of those words that we inevitably define in one way and yet often use in another way. So let's dig in to what we mean. We're gonna use some examples here to present strategy in different varieties in different flavors. The first one we're gonna start with, we're gonna give an example of strategy as a plan. And the plan we're gonna use, the example we're gonna use, maybe you've heard this phrase before, embrace, extend, and extinguish. We're gonna pause for a minute to allow you to take a short in video quiz about embrace, extend, and extinguish. So, what's the answer? It's clearly a ukulele solo. No, actually, that's not true. It is also a business strategy, and of course that's what the guy is singing about in the video. So what is embrace, extend, and extinguish mean? Let's just walk through it briefly. Embrace means that if you're a tech company and you've had a commanding lead in a particular technology space but the world is moving toward open standards in that space, which is a threat to your power in that space. First of all, you act like a good corporate citizen. You embrace the emerging common standard. You go to the meetings. You make positive sounds and noises. That's the embrace part. What do you do next? Well, you've been very positive, you've been involved in the community but you're also noticing that the common standard has some short comings. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, and as a good member of the community you like to add some bells and whistles. So, you start to extend the standard, start to add bells and whistles but the only real sort of nuance here is you're not necessarily, as a profit making company, willing to contribute the bells and whistles you make to the common standard. Those are gonna stay proprietary. So you extend the common standard with proprietary extensions. That's the extend part. What's the extinguish part? Well, because you have the market lead as a company, everybody migrates to your version of the standards with the bells and whistles. All the people who make software for your platform, they want to include all the best features that include bells and whistles that you have extended the standard with. So, you end up owning the standard. The standard now becomes the common open standard plus the proprietary extensions and since some part of it is proprietary, essentially all of it is proprietary. And in that sense the open standard is extinguished and you end up back in control of the standard if you're a for profit company. Now, a lot of companies that are accused of this don't admit it, but you will find a lot of people who believe a lot of tech companies that are in a position of dominance have used this strategy as plan to extend their dominance of technological space. So that's it. That's the strategy as plan. You end up staying in charge because you've executed this plan. This is not something you'll be tested on the specifics of embrace, extend and extinguish, but you might wanna take a moment at this point to look over the Wikipedia page about embrace, extend, and extinguish. We'll resume with different senses of the word, strategy, after the break.