Information Advantage

Information Advantage

Information Advantage Jonathan Poland

A unique knowledge that provides a competitive edge in a specific situation is known as an information advantage. This advantage can be strategic or tactical, and it gives a company or individual the upper hand over their competitors. The following are illustrative examples.

Inside Information
Information that originates within a government, organization, industry or group. For example, an employee who knows that their company is looking to make a big investment in renewable energy. This information might be valuable to a sales person at a solar module firm.

A negotiator knows the other side’s best alternative to a negotiated agreement has an advantage in negotiations. For example, a job candidate who knows that an employer has an urgent problem and has been looking hard for someone with their skills for 5 months may push hard for a high salary knowing it is unlikely the employer will back away.

The ability to acquire and act on public information faster than all other competition. For example, a bank that is able to analyze and trade on a press release faster than other traders.

Superior analysis such as an equity analyst who identifies a serious problem at a company that others have missed.

Situated Knowledge
Information that is highly specific to a context. For example, a farmer who knows that a particular field has an excellent terroir for growing unusually valuable grapes.

Situational Awareness
The ability to analyze a fast moving situation. For example, a stock trader who is good at predicting how the market will react to news.

Running experiments to determine what works. For example, a chain of coffee shops that experiments with 30 new desserts a week to scale those that are well received by customers.

Acquiring and analyzing data. For example, market research that identifies exactly why consumers are dissatisfied with a leading product.

Practical knowledge that allows you to be more efficient or produce greater quality than the competition. For example, an artisan who produces wooden canoes that are highly valued by customers.

An ability to identify unknowns and estimate risk. For example, a strategist who holds off on investing in a trendy new technology because they identity dozens of unknowns that make it unlikely to generate a reasonable return on investment.

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