1. The ability to learn faster from customers is the essential competitive advantage that startups must possess.
2. No big company loses to a little company if they are totally committed to winning the fight.
There is no reason why mammoth companies like Barnes & Noble or Borders could not have spent real money and hired the right people to come at Amazon with everything they had.
Barnes & Noble went online in 1997, but they didn’t go in 100 percent; they couldn’t have, or Amazon wouldn’t have taken over so much of their market.
They should have done the same thing I do every time a new liquor store that could be a threat opens up near me—pound the competitor’s face in with advertising and marketing dollars (even if they’re not opening up close to me, you can bet I’m paying close attention to what they’re doing).
Barnes & Noble should have come at Amazon the way Fox and NBC came at Google, when they developed a true rival, Hulu, to combat Google’s YouTube.
3. There is no logical reason to think that a tire company should be a food critic, but a hundred years ago, Michelin tires started reviewing rural restaurants to encourage people living in the cities to drive farther and wear their tires out more quickly.
Guinness created the Guinness Book of World Records to reinforce its brand and give people something to talk about in the pubs.
Similarly, I predict that one day a brand like Nike could put out its own sports programming and compete successfully against ESPN, or Amtrak could launch a publication that could stand up to Travel + Leisure.
4. The husband and wife who open another delicatessen store or another Mexican restaurant in the American suburb surely take a risk. But are they entrepreneurs?
All they do is what has been done many times before. They gamble on the increasing popularity of eating out in their area, but create neither a new satisfaction nor new consumer demand.
Seen under this perspective they are surely not entrepreneurs even though theirs is a new venture.
McDonald’s, however, was entrepreneurship.
It did not invent anything, to be sure.
Its final product was what any decent American restaurant had produced years ago.
But by applying management concepts and management techniques (asking, What is “value” to the customer?), standardizing the “product,” designing process and tools, and by basing training on the analysis of the work to be done and then setting the standards it required, McDonald’s both drastically upgraded the yield from resources, and created a new market and a new customer.
This is entrepreneurship.
5. Take a Look in the mirror … That’s your competition.
6. With our technology, with objects, literally three people in a garage can blow away what 200 people at Microsoft can do.
7. Microsoft has had two goals in the last 10 years. One was to copy the Mac, and the other was to copy Lotus’ success in the spreadsheet – basically, the applications business. And over the course of the last 10 years, Microsoft accomplished both of those goals.
And now they are completely lost.
8. Their products have no spirit to them.
9. I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.
10. Their products have no spirit of enlightenment about them, they are very pedestrian.
The sad part is that customers don’t have a lot of that spirit either, but the way that we’re going to ratchet up our species is to take the best and to spread it around everybody so that everybody grows up with better things and starts to understand the subtlety of these better things.
11. I am saddened, not by Microsoft success, I have no problem with their success, they’ve earned their success, for the most part.
I have a problem with the fact that they just make really third-rate products.
12. The older I get, the more I see how much motivations matter.
The Zune was crappy because the people at Microsoft don’t really love music or art the way we do.
We won because we personally love music.
13. The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste.
14. It’s a slow process.
And quitting won’t speed it up.
15. Sibling rivalry is just one result of playing favorites by parents.
While some experts believe growing up with a little competition isn't a bad thing, too much could create a wedge between siblings that could last a lifetime.
16. "The best of the Ansar families (homes) are the families (homes) of Banu An- Najjar, and then that of Banu `Abdul Ash-hal, and then that of Banu Al-Harith, and then that of Banu Saida; and there is good in all the families (homes) of the Ansar."
Sa`d bin 'Ubada followed us and said, "O Abu Usaid ! Don't you see that the Prophet (pbuh) compared the Ansar and made us the last of them in superiority?
Then Sa`d met the Prophet (SAW) and said, "O Allah's Messenger (SAW)! In comparing the Ansar's families (homes) as to the degree of superiority, you have made us the last of them." Allah's Messenger (SAW) replied,
"Isn't it sufficient that you are regarded amongst the best?"
[Sahih al-Bukhari 3791]
17. You have to push yourself to be spectacularly better at the thing you bring to the marketplace than most people. And you can.
18. It’s hard to beat your competition when you’re copying them.
19. Why did you choose to live with your dad, my son? Don't you love me?
Son: I love you Mom. But I know that he will need me more.
20. A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it.
It just blooms.
21. Always try to grow in your garden some plant or plants out of the ordinary, something your neighbors never attempted. For you can receive no greater flattery than to have a gardener of equal intelligence stand before your plant and ask, 'What is that?'
22. My brother and I laugh at how competitive we were as kids.
But I laugh more.