Summary of Simply Brilliant

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Many people assume spectacular business success accrues only to innovative, high tech or Internet companies – think Apple or Facebook – or to outlier firms like Uber that operate with distinctive business models. Fast Company co-founder William C. Taylor explains that traditional firms also can become brilliant dynamos and trendsetters by applying innovative thinking. Using illustrative case histories, Taylor details why and how this can happen and offers easy-to-follow principles for success. getAbstract recommends his ideas and methods to executives, managers and entrepreneurs who are ready to think their way to success.

About the Author

Fast Company co-founder William C. Taylor is a popular blogger for Harvard Business Review, where he is a regular contributor.



Any Firm Can Be Exceptional

Amid today’s radical business flux, every firm has the opportunity to become the big winner in its sector. This is true for any company of any size in any industry, including the most pedestrian or prosaic. Offering exceptional products and customer service combined with “ever advancing competitive intensity” matters more than slick technology.

Although businesspeople often can’t accept this proposition because it flies in the face of accepted wisdom, extensive research supports it. Yet, executives in low-profile companies with average or below-average returns often excuse their company’s poor performance by explaining, “This is not a glamorous business; we can’t be a passion brand like Apple or Starbucks.” No firm or business is old-fashioned by its nature. Yet the way an organization handles its business affairs can fall behind the times and shorten its lifespan.

Competitive Intensity

Though it may seem otherwise, high technology is not the primary factor that separates winners from losers. The critical factor is maintaining ever-advancing competitive intensity. Modern consumers expect the best. Many forward-thinking firms...

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