17 February 2008
for many companies, the question on prioritization between short term vs. long term in the day-to-day activities is always on?
of course the textbook answer is the company has to balance between the two to win the market (and, indeed, i think there are some smart companies that can do). unfortunately, in real life it's very rare companies can do it. at least, in my short experience, to answer the question is always a painful thing.
the short term things such as cashflow, quarterly profit & growth (exceed or under analysts expectation) most of the time are the real driver of any business. this does not mean the companies have not been trying to develop a great product or try to serve the customers better; it just means when there is a conflict, the cashflow and the quarterly book wins.
the long term such as brand image building, research & development, strategic move for the next 5 years may be a must in ideal situation....but again, how long a company can stay firm on it (especially these long term are pretty hard to be measured in ROE or net profit)? especially if the short term outlook does not show any good sign?