Thoughts on Success in Business…

In the June 2002 issue of Fortune Small Business, author Jim Collins maintained that the most consistent factor that allowed a business to succeed was the pursuit of a core purpose. Companies that know what they stand for and why they exist successfully adapt to changes in the marketplace.

“It’s a set of values that are deeply held. It’s not what we should value—it’s what we do value, down to our toes.”

Any business that exists for the sole purpose of making money is not enough. In his opinion, there is a critical question that needs to be answered: “What would be lost if this companies fails to exist.” If the answer refers to a lack of money or we’d be out of a job, then the company does not have a guiding principle.

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The Brand Rant…

Rants derived from the Aaker book on Brands: Brand Leadership.

The brand forms the brand identity. A brand is a memory bank carrying all of the company’s history, which consists of its capital. The product is not the brand. A product is manufactured; a brand created. A product may change over time, but a brand remains. A brand exists in and through communication. The communication s the brand proclaims its singular and durable identity, its territory as a brand. It is therefore not sufficient for a brand to promote a motivating quality of the product, for another product can always equal or copy it. The brand must be distinct from the competition.

On Innovation

Thoughts on creating and running a firm whose goal is innovation.

Upon being asked whether Apple’s mission is to innovate, Steve Jobs said, “No, we consciously think about making great products. We don’t think, Let’s be innovative… Let’s take a class! Here are five rules of innovation, let’s put them up all over the company!”*

The point: Good design is simply about making life better, simpler, easier, etc. This ergonomic approach simply tries to think of the loose ends and tie them up so that the person gets a cohesive product, instead of trying to be cute. There is a certain disconnectedness that many products have because their “cute” factor outweighs their utility factor. Good design seeks to equalize the cuteness with the utility.

New York Times, Annual Design Issue, November 30, 2003