The Power of Speed, Simplicity, and Demand Generation in Strategy Decisions



Aug 09, 20233 min read


The Power of Speed, Simplicity, and Demand Generation in Strategy Decisions

In the world of business and strategy, there are certain principles that can guide decision-making and lead to success. Two such principles, as highlighted by Reid Hoffman, are speed and simplicity. Additionally, the concept of demand generation and value capture has become increasingly important in the digital age. In this article, we will explore these ideas and discuss how they can be applied in various contexts.

Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, emphasizes the importance of speed in product development and decision-making. He famously stated, "If you aren't embarrassed by the first version of your product, you shipped too late." This mindset reflects the need for entrepreneurs and managers to take risks and iterate quickly. In the fast-paced world of startups, it is essential to embrace the possibility of making mistakes in order to move forward rapidly. Hoffman suggests accepting an error rate of 10-20% to maintain momentum, even if it means making decisions that may differ from what one might have chosen personally.

Another principle highlighted by Hoffman is simplicity. When faced with a multitude of options, he advises grouping them into categories such as "light, medium, heavy" or "easy, medium, hard." By doing so, decision-makers can focus on one decisive reason for pursuing a particular path. This approach ensures that the chosen course of action aligns with the primary goal, thereby avoiding wasted time and effort. Nassim Taleb, a renowned author, supports this notion, suggesting that if there isn't one clear reason to do something, it is best to refrain from doing it altogether. Simplicity in decision-making allows for a more streamlined and effective execution of strategies.

In the digital era, the concept of demand generation and value capture has undergone a significant transformation. The rise of the internet has led to a shift in power, favoring those who can aggregate demand rather than control supply. As the article states, "whoever generates the demand captures the value." This idea challenges the traditional role of middlemen and highlights the importance of providing the best user experience. Companies that excel in delivering an exceptional experience attract more consumers and users, subsequently attracting more suppliers. This virtuous cycle enhances the user experience, leading to increased value capture. The internet has commoditized suppliers, and as markets become more efficient, middlemen are at risk of being squeezed out. The focus now lies on creating and capturing value through demand aggregation.

To succeed in this changing landscape, businesses must adapt their strategies accordingly. Three actionable pieces of advice emerge from these principles and ideas. Firstly, embrace speed and accept the possibility of making mistakes. By prioritizing velocity, companies can stay ahead of the competition and iterate quickly to meet customer needs. Secondly, simplify decision-making processes by identifying one decisive reason and aligning all secondary activities with that reason. This ensures that efforts are focused and resources are utilized effectively. Lastly, recognize the power of demand generation and prioritize the user experience. By providing exceptional value and attracting more consumers, businesses can capture a larger share of the market and increase their profitability.

In conclusion, the principles of speed and simplicity, as advocated by Reid Hoffman, can greatly influence strategy decisions. Embracing speed and accepting a certain margin of error allows for rapid progress and innovation. Simplifying decision-making processes ensures that actions align with the primary goal, avoiding wasted time and effort. Additionally, understanding the dynamics of demand generation and value capture in the digital age is crucial for success. By prioritizing the user experience and aggregating demand, businesses can capture more value and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market. By incorporating these principles into their strategies, companies can position themselves for growth and long-term success.


  1. "Reid Hoffman’s Two Rules for Strategy Decisions", (Glasp)
  2. "Whoever Generates the Demand Captures the Value", (Glasp)

Want to hatch new ideas?

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)