Fighting the Last War
One of the more interesting errors in planning I’ve run across is called “fighting the last war”. This means believing in and using a strategy that has been successful in the past but is no longer a relevant tactic in the present. A famous historical example of “Fighting the Last War” is when France’s military leadership built the Maginot Line.
France built a series of concrete fortifications along their border with Germany: the Maginot Line. They didn’t fortify Belgium. This was the winning move for WWI - where armies moved slowly and concrete fortifications slowed those armies down. But, it didn’t help in WWII, when Germany flanked the Maginot line and invaded from the North, from Belgium.
I’ve made this error a bunch of times in my career as a developer and entrepreneur. I used successful tactics from previous successes when they no longer applied (or the converse, over-corrected...
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