Although some individuals are born leaders, most are made. Becoming a chief executive typically takes years of hard work. Extensive experience in the company’s field is desirable and some companies tend to prefer those with degrees from upper-tier schools. Finally, those that have worked their way up from a low level within the organization may have an advantage, as they arguably know the company better than any outsider ever could.
via Becoming A CEO.
The elusive CEO… People wonder how to become one. Well many start-ups bring forth CEOs because someone had to take the role. Many learn from experience that just because you are an idea guy, or a programmer, doesn’t mean you know how to manage, lead, and strategize for a company.
Having a great product is one thing, but keeping your company alive and growing in a competitive environment requires more. If you want to be a CEO you need a broad set of skills: Finance, Management, Marketing, Creativity, and Strategy.
All Start-ups should have this same broad set of skills because even if you are not fit to be CEO, you need to know what your CEO is doing and where it will take your company. Business is not kind on ignorance..
“Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) — Kaenon Polarized’s unique premium shades are worn by pro athletes and celebrities, but mass-market audiences have remained elusive. Can retail guru Jay Margolis help brothers Darren and Steve Rosenberg grow “the best sunglasses you’ve never heard of” into a major player in the market? Tuesdays at 9PM ET/PT. Fridays at 9:30PM ET/PT. (Source: Bloomberg)”
via Bloomberg The Mentor: Kaenon Polarized – Video – Bloomberg.
I love this show and the video is on the link above. On this show I think the owners Darren and Steve really missed the opportunity here. They were so caught up in the fact that their glasses were better than the competition that they felt they didn’t need any gimmicks to try and sell them.
They thought product quality was enough to sell their glasses. Big mistake. I don’t care how good your product is, it doesn’t sell itself. Your competition can outsell a superior product with superior branding and marketing. If you have a superior product that is actually less important than if you have a better strategy to brand it and get your product into more buyer’s hands. Quality doesn’t speak for itself if it isn’t in the hands of the end user.
These guys came to a Mentor to get help and because they had their own ideas on how they should brand their product they didn’t really listen to the Mentor. They made a slightly different case for their glasses and patted each other on the back while making no brand message at all. This is an example of when an engineer makes a product and then fails to hire a marketing expert to sell it. These guys may make a great product but they should fire themselves from the branding side of their business and I bet it would grow…
Lesson: Know your strengths, and hire your weaknesses.. If I was their mentor I would have told them straight up that they needed to hire a marketing and brand strategist and stick to making good sunglasses. They are the reason their brand is not growing fast enough.
Lets start with the title of this post again… Advantage is not useful if you don’t take it… People pass over profound things too fast. Sometimes in our drive to think fast and move fast we don’t absorb enough value out of quality things. Let’s look at advantage.
Everyone thinks that if they just get a little advantage over their competition they will win…Wrong. Say you build an awesome new lead capture system and then fail to follow up on the leads. Look at Netflix, they created an advantage over Blockbuster and then didn’t seal the deal. Blockbuster returned the favor by presenting a weak attempt at poking the eye of Netflix when their common business sense went AWOL. Blockbuster should have launched a $9,99 one or two video in the mail service. Even if it was a break even or slight loss, they could have put a nail in their biggest competitor’s coffin. Missed Opportunity.
Advantage is not useful if you don’t capitalize on it. Netflix should have offed Blockbuster by teaming up with Redbox or creating their own Netflix boxes so people could exchange movies more often and then they could hurt both Blockbuster and Redbox. Redbox has the website, now they should work on streaming, or mail delivery. Each of these business structures is vulnerable to a reduction or removal of competitive advantage yet they are so in love with their own concept that they miss the opportunity to use their advantage. I wonder if companies would hire outside strategists to consult CEOs, sounds like a job I would do…
The point is that sometimes you build a business around advantages that you never leverage and take advantage of. An advantage is not an advantage if you don’t take advantage of your advantage.