Ethics almost irrelevant?

August 19, 2013

By James Pilant via Pliant’s Business Ethics Blog   Article

Why unethical conduct in business is so common at this time in our history? Why is business ethics almost irrelevant?

“How did doing financial speculation amounting to little more than gambling become respectable? How did the idea of a responsibility to the other citizens of a nation become amusing to the elites?

There are several factors. The first was the advent of the baby boomers to power and authority replacing the Depression and the World War Two Generations. …

The second factor … is the advent of the Chicago School of Economics and the doctrines of Milton Friedman. …

…the doctrine of “social responsibility” taken seriously would extend the scope of the political mechanism to every human activity. It does not differ in philosophy from the most explicitly collectivist doctrine. It differs only by professing to believe that collectivist ends can be attained without collectivist means. …

The third element is the gradually increasing wave of deregulation …

The fourth element … Hostile takeovers and corporate raiding become regular parts of the business news. The basic significance of this is that it is a war. A war fought between manufacturing and finance, with manufacturing losing at every turn. …

Now, let’s combine them. Those Americans familiar with the pain of the results pass on the reins of power to a new generation. The Chicago School of Economics will provide the philosophical basis for discarding societal responsibility. The government reacts with deregulation which makes it exceptionally difficult to re-regulate industries. The financial industry begins destroying manufacturing in its search for profits.”


Blueberry pancakes and battleships

May 27, 2013

By Seth Godin via sethgodin.typepad.com   Article

“The typical industrial-era organization is like a battleship. Hundreds or thousands of people onboard, …  most of them aren’t actually directly responsible for the work that we hired the battleship to do. … The battleship can go far, with impact, and change the course of history. … it’s designed to survive with people who are merely good at what they do.

The typical professional services company, on the other hand, is a lot like a blueberry pancake. While there’s an essential support team, the firm is all about blueberries working in parallel. …  As the firm gets bigger, it doesn’t get thicker. You don’t make a better pancake by making a thicker one. You make a better pancake by hiring ever better blueberries …

Apple is now a battleship. Most of the tens of thousands of people who work there have a line job, selling, building, fixing or interacting. Only a few are dreaming up something that you can’t even imagine.

Your favorite record label, though, ought to be a blueberry pancake. Each musical group is mostly alone, figuring out something that just might work. The goal isn’t to lock and repeat and scale. …

If you want to make your battleship work better, be really clear about defining the mission, the tactics, the chain of command and most of all, precisely what you measure from each person on the team.

Your pancake, on the other hand, gives up swing weight and firepower and instead gets flexibility and the possiblity of non-fatal failure (and game-changing magic).

Both work. The problem kicks in when a successful pancake thinks its future is in the battleship business. Or when battleships are asked to dance.”


The $1.80 beer lesson

May 20, 2013

By:  via fastcompany.com   Article

The Invaluable $1.80 Beer Lesson on Selling Products and Buying Habits

The great bear experiment

People were offered two beers–a premium one at $2.50 and a bargain beer for $1.80. … About 80 percent chose the more expensive one.

In the next experiment, an even cheaper option joined the first two–a beer for just $1.60. … 80 percent of people nabbed what became the middle option–at $1.80–and the rest bought the $2.50 offering.

Then the third take happened: the $1.60 beer was switched out for one of those ultra-premium offerings at a cool $3.40. … most people chose the $2.50 option, relatively few chose the low-cost $1.80 option, and about 10 percent nabbed the most expensive option.

…  Shifting the options influenced buyer behavior. The experiment confirms an old sales heuristic: if you offer different price points, people will choose between the plans rather than whether to buy the product or not. …

… The most obvious application would be to incorporate the three-way price-plan into your product … use the strategy on your friends and colleagues. … say you want to grab lunch with your work BFF but you don’t want to boss them into going to your favorite Cuban place–you’d rather allow them to arrive to that decision on their own.

… suggest three lunch spots: cheap and average Italian, reasonably priced and conveniently located Cuban, or distant and expensive Chinese. So instead of contemplating the worthiness of Cuban in and of itself, your BFF is comparing it to the crap Italian and the too-fancy Chinese, which should tip the lunch-scales in your favor–if that beer experiment was any indication.”


Ice cream

March 11, 2013

Freemium


The horrible shootings

February 4, 2013

By  via Manufacturing Leadership Center   Article

Shareholders versus Stakeholders

“The horrible shootings in Connecticut have set off another round of debates over the fundamental goals of a business – pitting financial gain against social responsibility. … Lean proponents believe that fairly, even well, compensated employees; suppliers sure they will be dealt with fairly if they invest in the long term health of their customers; customers who receive the most for their money; and communities living with assurance that local employers are long term residents will all go beyond the call of duty to assure the success of the business.

The alternative is the traditional economic view – that labor (the employees) and capital (the stockholders) are engaged in a zero sum battle with each other – that one’s gain is the other’s loss; that relationships with both suppliers and customers should be adversarial – again a sort of zero sum approach that a nickel negotiated away from a supplier or a customer is a nickel gained for the stockholder …

The difference in views is very much a function of the time frame.  The holistic, lean approach is a proven winner, but is a long term winner.  Optimizing long term shareholder value often means sub-optimizing short term shareholder value.  In publicly traded companies the long term view just isn’t in the cards.  The costs of dumping an investment in  one company and putting the money into another are just too low and the whole thing is structured to enable the trillions of dollars in the markets to lurch from one company to another in a continual quest for the best short term returns.”


The Sticky Customer Trap

January 28, 2013

By  via Inc.   Article

“Most people tend to think revenue is good, and growing revenue is even better–a completely understandable mindset. Revenue is probably the most objective measure in any business, because it tells you how much customers are paying for your products or services. Therefore, it’s easy to equate revenue growth to creating customer value.

There’s one instance, however, that can lull an organization into complacency. We call it the sticky customer trap. …

How the Trap is Set

How does this happen? … There’s an ongoing need for the service, so the customer continues to ask for support and continues to pay its bills. No problem, right? You are creating customer value.

The problem is that these services are sticky. Once the customer chooses you as their vendor, there is a high cost for them switching to another vendor. They may become unhappy with your service, but in order to switch they need to find someone else, believe someone else is not as bad as you, and go through the cost and effort of moving to the new vendor.

As the vendor, your organization tends to gravitate in the other direction. You see revenue coming in month after month and praise the team for their great work. The feeling of comfort at that customer causes your organization to shift focus toward new customers, which can further degrade existing customer value. …

How to Avoid the Trap ….”


Industrialists vs. the rest of us

December 10, 2012

Via Seth’s Blog by Seth Godin   Article

“Industrialists are not capitalists. Capitalists take risks. They see an opportunity, an unmet need, and then they bring resources to bear to solve the problem and make a profit. Industrialists seek stability instead.

Industrialists work to take working systems and polish them, insulate them from risk, maximize productivity and extract the maximum amount of profit. Much of society’s wealth is due to the relentless march of productivity created by single-minded industrialists, particularly those that turned nascent industries (as Henry Ford did with cars) into efficient engines of profit.

Industrialists don’t mind government regulations if they write them, don’t particularly like competition or creativity or change. They are maximizers of the existing status quo.

Of course, they can’t abide humanity when it comes to work, because humanity is inconsistent and interested in things other than the last zero. The best employee is a robot that can be plugged into a wall.

The stock market rewards the single-minded industrialist with short-term applause and then the relentless desire for ever more of the same growth and productivity that got them applause yesterday.

Today’s industrialists define our economy, but they offer very little promise for tomorrow.”


So You Want to Reduce Your Costs? Don’t Focus on Cost Reductions

May 21, 2012

By Lonnie Wilson   Article

“If the title of this article sounds odd, don’t be surprised. The implementation of a lean initiative will teach you about a whole litany of paradoxes. There is the jidoka paradox: Shut down the system so the system will run continuously. There is the standard-work paradox: Standardize the work so you can change it. The production paradox: Slow down the machine so you can speed up the process. And my personal favorite, the Toyota success paradox: Toyota has been very successful because they tolerate failure.

Paradoxes abound and the one about cost reductions is particularly interesting. Most plant managers seek to reduce their operating costs and, regrettably, most of them go about it by implementing a “cost-reduction program.” And guess what? Two predictable things happen. First, they reduce costs. Second, … all the costs come back and usually with a vengeance. …

A Taiichi Ohno Lean Initiative

Well, if you don’t implement a “cost reduction program” to reduce costs; what should you implement? Simple. Implement a lean initiative …

“Establishing the flow is the basic condition.”

“All we are doing is looking at the time line…..And we are reducing that time by removing the non-value added wastes.”

“After World War II, our main concern was how to produce high quality goods … After 1955, however, the question became how to make the exact quantity needed.””


The Good, Bad and Ugly of Capitalism

April 2, 2012

By    Article

“On Wednesday, Howard Schultz, the chairman and chief executive of Starbucks, will take the podium at his company’s annual meeting and talk about the importance of morality in business. Yes, morality. I don’t know that he’ll use that exact word. But there can be little doubt that in recent years, especially, Schultz has been practicing a kind of moral capitalism. Profitability is important, he believes, but so is treating customers, employees and coffee growers fairly. …

In the speech, Schultz plans to make a direct link between Starbucks’s record profits and this larger societal role the company has embraced. He will make the case that companies that earn the country’s trust will ultimately be rewarded with a higher stock price. “The value of your company is driven by your company’s values,” he plans to say.

I bring up Schultz and Starbucks because this week we saw a different kind of American capitalism on display — the “rip your eyeballs out” capitalism of Goldman Sachs. In the corporate equivalent of the shot heard round the world, Greg Smith, a former Goldman executive, wrote anOp-Ed article in The Times as he was walking out the door in which he described a corporate culture that values only one thing: making as much money as possible, by whatever means necessary. According to Smith, Goldman views clients as pigeons to be plucked rather than customers to be valued. Goldman traders vie to see how much profit they can make at the expense of their clients, even if it means selling them products that are sure to “blow up” eventually. “It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off,” Smith wrote.”


Does “maximize shareholder value” really make sense?

February 13, 2012

Posted by    Article

“Don’t get me wrong. I believe maximizing shareholder value is a lovely result — but I also believes it’s a lousy goal.

Think about it this way. What happens when you give your employees a rousing speech about maximizing shareholder value? Once they wake up from their boredom-induced nap, they’ll go back to doing exactly what they had been doing before. After all, what can they do that will raise earnings per share? It’s like you’re asking them to count all the stars in the sky.

In other words, maximizing shareholder value — a mantra made popular in 1976 by the most-cited academic business article of all time, Jensen and Meckling’s “Theory of the Firm”— is just too vague and uninspiring to move employees to action. This viewpoint was also expressed by Peter Drucker, who insisted that the primary purpose of a business is to acquire and keep customers.

People need something tangible and actionable to focus on — something that will result in maximizing shareholder value. Tell an employee to increase shareholder value, and he’ll struggle. Tell him to increase customer value, and he can think of a dozen things to do, many of them actionable, measurable, and beneficial to your bottom line.

The uninspiring nature of the “shareholder value” mantra is only one reason I suggest you consider embracing a new one. The whole notion of shareholder value is built on a foundation of failed logic. Here are five reasons why it’s time to focus instead on understanding and meeting the needs of your customers: ….”


Creating shared value

January 16, 2012

By Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer    Article

“… A big part of the problem lies with companies themselves, which remain trapped in an outdated approach to value creation that has emerged over the past few decades. They continue to view value creation narrowly, optimizing short-term financial performance in a bubble while missing the most important customer needs and ignoring the broader influences that determine their longer-term success. How else could companies overlook the well-being of their customers, the depletion of natural resources vital to their businesses, the viability of key suppliers, or the economic distress of the communities in which they produce and sell? How else could companies think that simply shifting activities to locations with ever lower wages was a sustainable “solution” to competitive challenges? Government and civil society have often exacerbated the problem by attempting to address social weaknesses at the expense of business. The presumed trade-offs between economic efficiency and social progress have been institutionalized in decades of policy choices. …

The purpose of the corporation must be redefined as creating shared value, not just profit per se. …

Moving Beyond Trade-Offs

Business and society have been pitted against each other for too long. That is in part because economists have legitimized the idea that to provide societal benefits, companies must temper their economic success. In neoclassical thinking, a requirement for social improvement—such as safety or hiring the disabled—imposes a constraint on the corporation. Adding a constraint to a firm that is already maximizing profits, says the theory, will inevitably raise costs and reduce those profits.

A related concept, with the same conclusion, is the notion of externalities. Externalities arise when firms create social costs that they do not have to bear, such as pollution. Thus, society must impose taxes, regulations, and penalties so that firms “internalize” these externalities—a belief influencing many government policy decisions.

This perspective has also shaped the strategies of firms themselves, which have largely excluded social and environmental considerations from their economic thinking.”


A wake up call

December 12, 2011

by Josh Bernoff   Article

Welcome to the Age of the Customer. Invest accordingly.

“Everyone has a different wake up call. Maybe it was the day you heard Amazon is selling more books on Kindle than on paper. When was the last time you talked to a travel agent? Or maybe you realized the world had changed when you whipped out your iPhone in Home Depot and checked the ratings before buying that air conditioner. Disruption is rampant, it’s hitting every single industry, caused by customers with powerful technology on their side. The question is not whether your industry will be disrupted. The question is when.

We took a close look at Michael Porter’s five forces, the definitive framework businesspeople use to analyze competition. There’s no longer any barrier to potential entrants or substitutes — in a digital world, competition can come from anywhere. Customers have real-time information about pricing, product features and competitors; they hold all the advantages. And the key source of supply now is talent — and talent can get up and leave. The competitive barriers that Porter defined matter far less now. The only sustainable source of competitive advantage, the only defensible position, is to concentrate on knowledge of and engagement with customers. (Scroll down for video.)”


How to avoid irrelevance, guaranteed!

November 28, 2011

by Dan Rockwell   Article

““Customers are the boss.” A.G. Lafley.

Customers determine what you must do well. You may be the world’s best pickle packer. But, if the world doesn’t value perfectly packed pickles, you are tragically irrelevant. …

Drucker said, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” It doesn’t take a genius to understand the value of understanding customers.

P&G got it right because the only way to deliver valuable-value is to deeply understand customers. You must understand their aspirations, needs, wants, and desires. Understanding them is the only way you can deliver meaningful solutions, services, and products.

Good but off target:

You might think your core strength is innovation, efficiency, communication, leadership development, or organization. All of these are important, even necessary, but not first.

On target:

The center of your business, leadership, or management is your customer. Without a customer you’re irrelevant. The only way to create, serve, and retain customers is to deeply understand them. P&G nailed it. …

Choose your core competency carefully. Every list of core strengths must begin with, “Deep understanding of the customer.””


First, let’s fire all the managers

November 28, 2011

by Gary Hamel   Article

“How essential is it to have layers of executives supervising workers? Managers are expensive, increase the risk of bad judgment, slow decision making, and often disenfranchise employees. Yet most business activities require greater coordination than markets can provide.

Is there a way to combine the freedom and flexibility of markets with the control of a management hierarchy? Economists will tell you it’s impossible, but the Morning Star Company proves otherwise. It has been managing without managers for more than two decades.

At Morning Star, whose revenues were over $700 million in 2010, no one has a boss, employees negotiate responsibilities with their peers, everyone can spend the company’s money, and each individual is responsible for procuring the tools needed to do his or her work.

By making the mission the boss and truly empowering people, the company creates an environment where people can manage themselves. …

Your organization probably wasn’t built around the principles of self-management. It’s most likely a bureaucracy—with a thicket of policy rules, a multilayered hierarchy, and a host of management processes—built to ensure conformity and predictability.

Control is the philosophical cornerstone of bureaucracy, as Max Weber pointed out nearly a century ago. In a bureaucracy managers are enforcers who ensure that employees follow rules, adhere to standards, and meet budgets.

Bureaucracy and self-management are ideological opposites, like totalitarianism and democracy. To build a self-managing organization, you can’t just prune the brambles of bureaucracy—you have to uproot them. The founders of the United States didn’t set out to temper the excesses of a monarchy; they sought to supplant it. In the same way, if you don’t make an unequivocal commitment to self-management, you’ll content yourself with easily reversed half measures when you should press for more.

Nevertheless, no one is going to just give you permission to blow up the old structures. You will have to demonstrate that self-management doesn’t mean no management and that radical decentralization isn’t anarchy. Here’s how to get started.”


Service culture makes it a cinch to succeed

September 19, 2011

By    Article

Four Steps to a Timeless Business Strategy

“Take a look at the companies getting all the attention for their success today. What timeless strategy do they deploy? Disney (DIS) has proven it’s here for the long-haul because it focuses on bringing people joy, with every team member “on cast” to provide a safe and satisfying show. Zappos, although hip and trendy, has focused all its attention on stellar service, a strategy as timeless as business itself. Or study Apple (AAPL), with its progressive innovation focused on delighting the customer and with Apple Stores that blow the minds of visitors, delight the eyes of customers, and lock in the loyalty of long-term fans with a service experience that promises and delivers.

Or consider IT service provider Wipro. The company (which I should disclose is one of my clients) chose to focus on uplifting its service, transforming its reputation from that of one of many “low-cost offshore suppliers” into one widely regarded for “customer-centric” leadership and expertise.

How can you make your business timeless?

1. Serve at all levels: … Service isn’t a department. It’s a mindset. …

2. Focus on relationships: Regardless of what you sell, you’re in a service relationship with your customers, your employees, and your team. Policies, procedures, and rules don’t mean much if they don’t add value “in service” to another human being. …

3. Enrich, empower, and educate: The entire foundation of commerce is the exchange of value between people—it’s all service. …

4. Pace yourself: Service will outlive the latest flash or fad, so jump in for the long haul and don’t look for a quick finish line. Maintain a strong service focus and make adjustments as needed along the way. Because when it comes to service, there’s never a point when you can’t improve, and there’s never a day when your customers won’t appreciate it.”


Work is theater

September 5, 2011

From The Startup Daily   Article

“Products and services are vulnerable to being commoditized, but businesses that provide unique experiences can charge a premium. Frame your work as theater, and create magical experiences. Hiring is casting, your processes are the script, your strategy is drama, and the place where you interact with customers is the stage.

Don’t Charge for Products or Services, Charge for Performances

When you are charging for the experience, you can charge relative to the value that you provide, not just the costs of your raw materials. Experiences are deeply personal, and immune to commoditization.

First we sold raw materials. Then we used those materials to create and sell products. Next we used those products to provide services. Orchestrating experiences is the next step in this progression of economic value. The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II, By and James H. Gilmore offers a way to escape commoditization by providing rich experiences for your customers.”


Promotions or service

August 1, 2011

By Tim Fishburne  Article

Improving Service

“We often treat service as a cost center and promotions as a profit center. Yet amazing service can spread faster than any advertising and there can be a hidden cost from too many promotions. Many brands place more value on a promotion campaign designed to acquire customers than a service plan designed to keep them…
read the rest…”


Lessons in longevity

July 11, 2011
By    Article

Lessons in Longevity, From I.B.M.

“AS it turned 100 last week, I.B.M. was looking remarkably spry. … I.B.M.’s stock-market value passed Google’s earlier this year. …

Yet, not so long ago, I.B.M.’s corporate survival was at stake. In the early 1990s, it nearly ran out of money. Its mainframe business was reeling under pressure from the lower-cost technology of personal computing.

New leadership was brought in, and thousands of workers were laid off. It was part of the company’s painful journey to what might be called “post-monopoly prosperity” — that is, a new path to corporate success once a dominant product is no longer the turbocharged engine of growth and profit it once was.

“I.B.M. faced the challenge that all great companies do sooner or later — they dominate, they lose it, and then they re-create themselves or not,” observes George F. Colony, the chief executive of Forrester Research.

I.B.M. met the challenge, moved beyond the mainframe and built a business increasingly based on software and services. So as it celebrates a milestone, the company holds lessons for others.

Evolving beyond past success is a daunting task for companies in all industries. But that problem is magnified in the technology arena, where companies can quickly rise to rule a market, seemingly invincible, until a shift in the technological landscape opens the door to a new generation of corporate dynamos.

That is certainly the test that Microsoft is struggling with today, as it seeks growth beyond its lucrative stronghold in personal computer software. If they are to prosper for the long haul, Google and Apple, too, must reach beyond their dominant businesses. Each of these companies, in its way, is trying.

So, then, what broader insights are to be drawn from the I.B.M. experience? ….”


When do teams make sense?

May 16, 2011

From Daily HR Tips  Article


Image

“Many organizations have embraced the team concept wholeheartedly. But as it is with most things, there is also a negative side to teams.

Teamwork takes more time and often more resources than individual work. Teams have increased communication demands, conflicts to manage, and meetings to run. So the benefits of using teams have to exceed the costs, and that’s not always the case.

How do you know whether the work of your group would be better done in teams? You can apply three tests to see whether a team fits your situation.

  1. Ask yourself can the work be done better by more than one person? A good indicator is the complexity of the work and the need for different perspectives. Simple tasks that don’t require diverse input are probably better left to individuals.
  2. Ask yourself does the work create a common purpose or set of goals for the people in the group that is more than the aggregate of individual goals? Many service departments of new-vehicle dealers have introduced teams that link customer-service people, mechanics, parts specialists, and sales representatives. Such teams can better manage collective responsibility for ensuring customer needs are properly met.
  3. Determine whether the members of the group are interdependent. Using teams makes sense when there is interdependence between tasks—the success of the whole depends on the success of each one, and the success of each one depends on the success of the others. Soccer, for instance, is an obvious team sport. Success requires a great deal of coordination between interdependent players. Conversely, except possibly for relays, swim teams are not really teams. They’re groups of individuals performing individually, whose total performance is merely the aggregate summation of their individual performances.”

Customer-centric continuous improvement

May 2, 2011

By Brad Power   Article

“Improving customer value continuously is difficult in almost any organization. That’s true partly because so many organizations are still organized around functional silos, which are managed to optimize their own performance rather than to deliver value to customers.

If internal feuds don’t sabotage things, Process Attention Deficit Disorder will. An astonishing number of executives think of service improvements as the slow, boring route to competitive advantage. …

Leading organizations use some powerful long-term techniques to get around these problems. I categorize these as tools of the heart, head, ears, and feet.”


Biz is the art of

May 2, 2011

By Hugh   Article

“If I hear “Business is about relationships” one more time, I think I’m going to barf. Then again, business IS all about relationships, barf or no barf. And relationships are more powerful, when you think of them in terms of what you can do for other people, rather than vice versa.

Most successful people i know seem far more concerned about the good they create for others, and how, than what the world can do for them. That’s what this cartoon is about. What can YOU do about not only your journey, but the journeys of others. The latter seems more interesting, somehow…”


Innovating with Price

April 21, 2011

by Patrick Lefler   Article


Leading Google To War

April 19, 2011

**By Ben Horowitz   Article

Larry Page Is Leading Google To War

“Eric Schmidt was much more than Google’s front man; as Google’s peacetime Chief Executive, he led the greatest technology business expansion in the last ten years. Larry Page, in contrast, seems to have determined that Google is moving into war and he clearly intends to be a wartime CEO. This will be a profound change for Google and the entire high-tech industry.

Definitions and Examples

Peacetime in business means those times when a company has a large advantage vs. the competition in its core market, and its market is growing. In times of peace, the company can focus on expanding the market and reinforcing the company’s strengths.

In wartime, a company is fending off an imminent existential threat. Such a threat can come from a wide range of sources including competition, dramatic macro economic change, market change, supply chain change, and so forth. The great wartime CEO Andy Grove marvelously describes the forces that can take a company from peacetime to wartime in his book Only The Paranoid Survive.” – Article


A Personal Business Model

April 4, 2011

**by J.D. Roth Article

“… a business model explains how an enterprise provides value to customers — and gets paid for doing so. Specifically, “providing value” means helping customers with a job that needs doing.

The Business Model Canvas
This logic can be expressed in the Business Model Canvas, a simple diagram that shows a business model’s nine key “building blocks.” These building blocks include Customers, Value Provided to Customers, and Channels, among others:

Here’s a Canvas that shows Jiffy Lube’s business model. It includes Customers (car owners), Value Provided to Customers (keeping cars running trouble-free), and Channels (how value is delivered — in Jiffy Lube’s case, on-site at Jiffy Lube locations):

Business Models Go Personal
Now, here’s some good news for us as individuals: By getting a better understanding of how our organizations work, business model thinking helps us perform more effectively at our own jobs. But more than that, once we become familiar with the Business Model Canvas, we can apply the same ideas to our own careers.

How?

Simply by thinking of ourselves as single-person enterprises with “personal business models.” – Article


How much can I get away with?

March 31, 2011

**By Seth Godin  Source

“There are two ways to parse that question.

The usual way is, “How little can I do and not get caught?” Variations include, “Can we do less service? Cut our costs? Put less cereal in the box? Charge more?” In short: “How little can I get away with?”

The other way, the more effective way: “How much can we afford to give away? How much service can we pile on top of what we’re selling without seeming like we’re out of our minds? How big a portion can we give and still stay in business? How fast can we get this order filled?”

In an era in which the middle is rapidly emptying out, both edges are competitive. Hint: The overdelivery edge is an easier place to make a name for yourself.” – Article


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