How to Succeed in 2007
Business 2.0 has an article on How to Succeed in 2007 “We asked 50 of the brightest minds in business how they do what they do – and how you can cash in on their advice in the year ahead.”
Here are a few snippets. There seems to be an inverse correlation between the value of the advice and the age of the company.
Simplicity is an important trend we are focused on. Technology has this way of becoming overly complex, but simplicity was one of the reasons that people gravitated to Google initially.
Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group
That may well be pragmatically right, but I still think it’s morally wrong, and I suspect that anything that is morally wrong is ultimately bad for business.
In the early years, we tried everything we could to exceed the expectations of our customers. But we knew that to achieve that goal we had to first exceed the expectations of our people.
Listen to the community and adapt. We had a lot of our own ideas about how the service would evolve. Coming from PayPal and eBay, we saw YouTube as a powerful way to add video to auctions, but we didn’t see anyone using our product that way, so we didn’t add features to support it.
Letting users control your site can be terrifying at first. From day one we were asking ourselves, “What is going to be on the front page today?” You have no idea what the system will produce. But stepping back and giving consumers control is what brought more and more people to the site.
Co-founder and CEO, Netflix
Truly brilliant marketing happens when you take something most people think of as a weakness and reposition it so people think of it as a strength.
Co-founder and Chairman, iRobot
Venture capitalists like to invest in things that have succeeded before, but when we started iRobot, there weren’t any successes in this industry. We were turned down by every major VC across the country, but we just kept knocking on people’s doors until we found the visionary types who understood our passion and agreed there was a market in the making.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that there has got to be a reason for what you’re doing. You actually have to care about what you’re doing. The business has to be about something.
Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media
1. Be first. This is one of the immutable laws of marketing. Who was the first person to fly across the Atlantic? Lindbergh. Who was the second? No idea.
2. If you can’t be first, create a new category so you can be first. Who was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic? Amelia Earhart. New category. We didn’t have the first Web conference out there, but when we applied “Web 2.0” to the category, we created something new.