Friday, July 1, 2011

Always keep asking questions

Of all people, from all walks of life – it’s the entrepreneurs who question things and take action to improve them. Entrepreneurs are the employees and self-employed who constantly question if there are more efficient ways of doing things, they are those who challenge the impossible with action: like this guy, and this guy. Look at an entrepreneur and you’ll see someone with a passion for the unknown and a need to question and improve it.

The reason we choose to build great companies is because we want to achieve the impossible. To build on earlier models, to make them greater and more efficient, to leave our mark on society (hopefully in a good way). So we create things like the razor-blade model of business or a chain of highly successful discount stores.

Once a business forgets to ask questions it falls towards mediocrity, and mediocrity has an infallible force. Businesses start with a vision from the founder(s) to build the impossible and to turn the impossible into reality. Unfortunately many companies continue to do what worked really well for them in the past, sometimes they realize their mistake and sometimes they don’t. It’s why IBM wasn’t the first to build personal computers, or why Henry Ford lost market share to GM and Chevrolet - “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”.  Customers clearly wanted more variety.

Never forgot to ask questions. The moment you and your company forgets to ask questions is the moment you begin to be mediocre. It’s why many of the fortune 500 companies from 1955 are no longer fortune 500 companies today.

Ask questions. Never settle with mediocre.