The 2x2 grid trap

Business executives, especially those with MBA badges, love 2 x 2 grids. These grids come in many forms and shapes. For example, Porter developed a grid to determine an organization’s overarching strategy by plotting competitive scope against competitive advantage. Others use the outsourcing matrices to decide between strategic and operational importance. An all-time favorite is the BCG matrix to add market context to a product line.

Yes, nearly all of them have four quadrants. However, life is seldom limited to four squares. It just doesn’t work like that. Adults will tell you that there is more. Therefore, it may be better to think longer-term because you will need resilience. 

The 2×2 Ansoff matrix is an excellent example of a tool to start a product and market positioning conversation. For example, are you innovating an existing or new product for existing or new customers? It is as simple as that, but it is not easy. A better idea is to start with the minimum. Then, focus on that market corner that will spread the word about your product.

Also, with only four quadrants, it becomes tempting to cut corners. If you need more followers, go and buy them.

Bottom line: Now that you are operating in a world where you need to influence minds, go beyond the two axes. Think about the smallest group you can change and the simplest viable product you can offer. Then the magic will follow.