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Ten Rules. 

 

1

Art—great product—drives the bus.

Without it—nothing else matters.

2

Science is the bus.

Great creative visions can and will founder on the shoals of poor execution.

3

Great brands result from great products.

 Not the other way around  There can be many other brand attributes, but the product promise is the anchor.  

4

Products need to serve a clear customer.

Great brands connect with those whom they serve.

5

Leaders need to be product-focused.

Operating genius is important, but it’s the product vision that’s indispensable.

6

Brands and retail are opposite.

Retail is fast, and broad, and changes every day, in response to the customer. It’s about listening, and experimenting, and re-assorting. Brand-building is narrow, slow, focused, and purposeful. It’s about designing, and convincing.

7

Evolve carefully.

It's tempting to try new things.  It's particularly tempting to elevate.  However: your customer may see not a better product, but rather, a broken promise.  

It's not difficult.  But it's complicated. 

One thousand factors will affect outcomes - every day.  Try to learn from the signals and ignore the noise.  Try to convince investors and board members to do the same. 

9

Governance is different in creative businesses.

It’s about art as well as science.  Board members can't be distant monitors.  They need to be supporters, and coaches - and most important, customers.

10

Investments should be simple—and support the business.

Creative businesses don’t harken to financial engineers.  It's already hard enough to maintain the shared vision.  Everyone needs to be aligned. 

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