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Computer Industry:
Win-Hold-Win: A Strategy for Expanding Your Skill Set in the Computer Services Business
Posted 31 months ago on 2/9/2018 and updated 9/16/2018
Take Away:

This article uses the 1993 “Win-Hold-Win” military strategy to help illustrate how one can become more marketable in the computer industry.


From the title, you may be wondering what the term “Win-Hold-Win” refers to. The term was first coined back in June 1993 when United States Secretary of Defense Les Aspin proposed it as an alternate military strategy in response to massive budget cuts that were announced a few months before in March. Needing a defense program to comply with the huge military spending cuts, Defense Secretary Aspin spearheaded the “Bottom-Up Review”. The military force requirements would be based on “MRCs” or “Major Regional Conflicts”. MRCs are about in the middle of the military engagement spectrum in terms of intensity. The Persian Gulf War from 1991 is an example of a MRC.

Secretary Aspin proposed among other things a strategy known as “Win-Hold-Win”. This called for full engagement of one MRC while conducting a holding action with a second one. The second regional conflict would not elevate to a full engagement until the first one had been won by the U.S. military. Then resources could be sent to the second front to secure victory. The “Win-Hold-Win” option received blistering criticism and was labeled “Win-Lose-Lose” and “Win-Hold-Oops”. In the face of such fierce resistance to his proposal, Defense Secretary Aspin abandoned the “Win-Hold-Win” option and stated that the U.S. military must be able to conduct two MRCs simultaneously.

While “Win-Hold-Win” may not be a viable option for the Pentagon, I believe it can work well with regard to expanding one’s skill set in the computer services business. As most people know, computer technology changes rapidly. But what sort of mechanism can be deployed so I can continue to earn a living at this while learning the newer technology that will make me more marketable to customers in the future? I would submit that the “Win-Hold-Win” strategy is appropriate for this. The idea is for me to “win” at the skills I am currently competent with. At the same time, I will “hold” with the newer skills I‘m in the process of becoming proficient with. Later on, I will “win” with the new skills I have acquired.

Here I will present a classification of my “WIN SKILLS” along with my “HOLD SKILL”:

“WIN SKILLS”: computer repair, hardware replacements/upgrades, emergency data recovery from software crashes, malware removal, wireless networking, old DOS style programming (C, C++, Foxpro), Microsoft Windows desktop PC application development with (C++, C#, Corel Paradox, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Visual Foxpro) as well as website construction (css, html, Javascript, PHP/ MySQL).

“HOLD SKILL”: Android Java programming.

The “win skills” help me earn a living, while the “hold skills” will one day bring me income after I become proficient at them. The “Win-Hold-Win” strategy helps me lay the foundation for the future of my business. That’s why I believe it’s a good strategy to make myself more marketable in the future.

Reference: 1999/1099edit.aspx


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Article Contributed By Douglas.M:

Please visit my software developer website for more information about my services. I offer application development as well as Android app coding services. My developer skills are best suited to dealing with custom software projects. I can perform programming for Corel Paradox as well as C# Sharp and PHP.

In my local area of northeast Ohio, I can cater to computer repair and "fix my computer" issues.

Use my contact web page today to reach me about any software design ideas you have.

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