Vision, Mission, Strategy & Roadmap
Whether you are the CEO, part of the leadership team, a product leader, individual contributor, or anyone in the organization, you can have a vision, mission, strategy and roadmap for whatever it is you are responsible for.
Having a vision will ensure everyone is working towards creating the same idealistic future you believe in. Establishing your mission allows external stakeholders and customers to understand who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. Setting a strategy will allow your organization or team to focus and relentlessly prioritize. Finally, creating a roadmap will guide your team towards success.
A dream of what the organization or future world will be. A clear vision helps making decisions so your organization ends up where you want it to be. Vision is the art or imagining a future so clearly, others begin to see it themselves.
“A company’s vision is an end-state that they never fully realize. In other words, it’s a state of the world so audacious you never quite get there, but you die trying.” — Brian Chesky
Example: A world where you can freely move from one place to another.
Defines the organization’s business, it’s objectives, and its approach to achieve those objectives.
“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.”
Example: Making travel easy by providing affordable transportation through airplane sharing.
A set of principles and decisions that inform your plan for achieving the vision. These principles and decisions must yield cohesive actions; meaning they create compound interest together. Strategies can evolve or even change (aka pivot).
“In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.” — Miyamoto Musashi
Example: Support the needs of jet owners by focusing on building tools that make renting their plane easy and delivering world class customer service.
Your strategy should take into account these 4 dimensions:
What do people need that isn’t being fulfilled by the status quo?
Example: Renting your plane to strangers is difficult and filled with risk.
What specific cohort of the population are you serving?
Example: People who own medium size planes with 5 to 10 spare seats.
What is your core competency that will help you succeed where others failed? This is also known as a competitive advantage, economic moat, or unique differentiator. (read more)
Examples: Insider information, uncompromising single obsession, personal authority, or having the dream team.
What metrics effectively measure your progress and whether or not you succeeded in achieving your mission?
Example: 10,000 travelers flying in a shared jet plane.
Concrete steps towards achieving your mission. This plan is what the execution of your strategy looks like. A roadmap includes initiatives and tactics.
“Tomorrow belongs to those who plan for it today.”
High level efforts that will achieve the goals established by your strategy.
Example: Self serving plane management platform and AI powered customer support ticket resolution system.
Specific actions taken to fulfill the strategy. Tactics can be categorized into 2 buckets: programs and platforms.
Programs: A plan of action to accomplish a specific objective.
Example: FAQ page that helps answer common questions about hosting travelers on a plane.
Platforms: Services that enable rapid and scalable deployment of programs.
Example: A forum for hosts and an internal tool that allows admins to answer live questions from the community about any topic.
Now go and create the future!