For decades, the concept of "sticking to your knitting" has been the de facto rationale for certain risk-o-phobic executives to avoid taking any unnecessary chances with their businesses. Throughout the history of commerce, countless companies have adopted the strategy of "focusing on what we do best" rather than picking a well-thought-out limb or two to crawl out on.
While this may have averted failure in many cases, it's reasonable to argue that it has also often prevented greater success. Contrary to what many believe, success is not the absence of failure but, quite frequently, the residue of learning from it.
This is not to suggest that corporate leaders should go off half-cocked pursuing every idea that crosses their desks (or minds). Instead, they should carefully consider seizing the moment as appropriate opportunities present themselves, as opposed to reflexively shielding their companies from potential downside each time uncomfortable or counterintuitive propositions arise.
For this to work, it is necessary to remain within what my former employer, Warren Buffett calls your "circle of competence". Simply put, one's circle of competence consists of the subject areas which match that person's skills and expertise. This could, in fact, cover quite a large swath of territory, but the key to staying within it is to know its boundaries.
Rather than viewing these boundaries as limitations, however, senior executives should view them as growth opportunities that can be activated by venturing a bit further away from the core business (aka the comfort zone) - yet not too far afield to where they find themselves in unfamiliar terrain. In other words, look for complementary and adjacent business niches to exploit that align with your experience and expertise. This will expand the scope and resilience of your business without exposing your company to disproportionate risk.
In the case of News Direct, my founding objective was to shake up the sleepy and complacent newswire space using the most current technology. Our depth of knowledge and expertise in this arena (part of our circle of competence) allowed us to radically redesign the entire business model into one that our experience told us would eliminate the many known pain points and thereby resonate with customers. It has worked well beyond even our own ambitious expectations.
But that success, for us, wasn't the end of the process, but just the beginning. Rather than backslapping ourselves for a job well done, we began deploying the very technology that enabled us to leapfrog the newswire status quo to create, and uncover, a variety of adjacent and complementary directions into which our platform could expand. This is how we embraced the concept of "Multiplicity".
Multiplicity is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as the "quality or state of being multiple or various". That definition perfectly describes the News Direct raison d'etre. Since our launch in mid-2020, our platform has spun off numerous extensions of the core newswire business that enable our customers to perform multiple communications tasks that augment, expand and increase their messaging strategy options.
To date, in addition to the newswire, we also offer clients' opportunities to post sponsored content on our Idea Marketplace, get interviewed on our podcast, News Directly, over the News Direct Podcast Channel or appear in a segment of our streaming TV program, News Direct Insights, from the floor of the NYSE, produced in partnership with Fintech.TV.
An agile technology stack, cloud-based and custom-written, has allowed us to quickly incorporate a variety of meaningful service offerings into our product mix without leaving our circle of competence or straying from relevance to our client base. The result is a single platform, multichannel solution that provides multiple points of entry into client relationships, expands our target audience and diversifies our revenue streams. All of which contribute to the health and sustainability of our business. That's what Multiplicity can do.