The Black Swan – High-Impact and Hard-to-Predict

The Black Swan event is a high-impact, hard-to-predict and rare event that is beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology. A Black-Swan Scenario examines the influence of highly improbable and unpredictable events that have a massive impact. However, with change comes opportunity: – think Brexit. For the majority, the possibility the UK might leave the European Union is a major source of concern. The truth is, that with any change comes the opportunity for new business models. Concepts like the Estonian eResidency program may leapfrog other EU economies and become an entry point for US-based businesses, willing to start operations in the European market.

The Black Swan examines the influence of highly improbable and unpredictable events that have a massive impact. Black Swans are often considered as significant risks in the business plan. But black swans are a massive business opportunity for digital businesses prepared to rapidly shift their value proposition.

Why a Black Swan is Your Business Opportunity

You certainly know about the Blue Ocean Strategy, which comes with a great quote: “The best way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.” Going-to-market in a mature market like Germany is like dipping into a red ocean. You will have to fight many hungry sharks unless you have a clear differentiation strategy. Why not address a single use-case, that´s ignored by the market incumbents.


The Black Swan Go-to-market Strategy

In a business context, the nature of a black swan is that it represents an event or combination of events that impact the business in a significant manner. Since no one can predict the future, how do we gain an understanding of what we don’t know? One approach is to use the most critical assumptions underlying the strategy as a context for understanding how much a black swan might hurt.

The approach works as follows:

  1. Define strategic assumptions. In effect, strategic assumptions are your ‘white swans’ because they reflect your view of the environment in which the enterprise will operate during the planning horizon.
  2. Develop contrarian statements. These statements negate the strategic assumptions. If the assumptions are management’s ‘white swans,’ the related contrarian statements are potential ‘black swans.’ They frame the impact that could seriously damage the company’s ability to execute its strategy. Recognize that not all contrarian statements are black swans. Look for the statements that are likely to have the greatest impact on the company if they were to transpire. They should reflect situations that would likely arise from events in which the organization currently lacks sufficient information and that management would likely rationalize after the fact as: “Why didn’t we see it coming?”

Our Blueprint to turn Strategy into Practice

  1. Extensive Market Research and Hyper Segmentation,
  2. Analyzing the pain points and opportunities of buy side, sell side, competition
  3. Defining attractive local market niches, black-swan scenarios, the execution model
  4. Getting in touch with the key individuals and organizations
  5. Attacking the market as the black swan opportunity arises.


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I have served media and tech firms from Israel, US and Scandinavia for 20+ years. My sector expertise is Digital Platforms, especially Mobile & Connected Services.