(This is a business case study. It will be used to guide discussions during the session: “How do you set priorities?” at the Vendo Partner Conference in Barcelona on Wednesday, September 6th.)


Mickey had just left the trade show in a taxi (no Uber, he tried). The airport was 25 minutes away. Which airport? Which city? It was a little blurry. He’d check his phone when he got to the airport to be sure.

He had some time in the taxi to reflect on what had just happened. This trade show was not so different from most trade shows. Old friends, new acquaintances. Promises of doing new deals. Promises…

Mickey was painfully aware of the gap between opportunities and resources in his industry. As he watched billboards going by on the side of the highway he thought about the ratio. Was it 20 times as many opportunities as he had resources to pursue them with? It wasn’t personal, he knew that. Everyone had the same problem. At least everyone in his industry did. He didn’t think there was so much abundance of opportunity outside of the internet.

His question clarified in his mind. “How can I go meta? I need to focus on how I prioritize. That’s more important than any particular opportunity. If I can figure that out then the decisions on which opportunities to pursue become much, much easier.”

Mentally he flipped through some tools he could use: Pareto principle (80/20), Lateral thinking, 6 thinking hats, multi-factor analysis in a spreadsheet, mind mapping…

Which combination would be most valuable for him? For the industry?

He arrived at the airport. It turned out it was a different city than he had half-remembered. He thought to himself, “As soon as I get home I’m going to focus on getting my prioritization right…that’s the biggest immediate opportunity.”

Questions for discussion:

  1. How do you prioritize?
  2. What tools do you use? How has your experience with them been?
  3. How do ensure that you are getting the best return on your investment (ROI)?


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