The first is, focus and execution matter just as much as strategy. You have to be able to say “no” so you can focus on the right things, and you have to make sure that you execute relentlessly.
Second, there’s a Patton quote: “The good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” The lesson there is that for most digital products, you’re better off getting it to 80% and launching it, knowing that the users will teach you more about where it should go than you’d be able to figure out on your own — and then it’s just iterate, iterate, iterate.
Third, no one bats 1000. Google doesn’t. Facebook doesn’t. MySpace certainly didn’t. Even Reid Hoffman doesn’t. So you have to throw some bombs and know that not all will connect, and if you fail, fail fast and move on to the next thing.
I’m a big fan of NFL football, so I read this whole article, but if you just read this quote on lessons learned from Jeff Berman, the General Manager of NFL Digital, you’ll see the basis for social media success.
The Patton quote, to me, was the perfect distillation of why timid agencies fail to capture the zeitgeist. They are so worried about doing social media “right,” or ensuring that every possible bad outcome is planned for that they miss their opportunity and get caught lagging when their emergency hits.