There are thousands of books talking about how to start and run a successful business. Authors make it seem easy with readers believing that after they are done with a particular book, they are right on the path to becoming the next rich fellow on the block.
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. It is usually not long before one is reading another ‘best seller’ prescribing more success routes in the business world. On top of the books we have numerous conferences, seminars etc all geared and revealing the secrets to success.
When it comes to book, I am more into biographies than quick success prescriptions. Although many of these biographies and autobiographies also dwell on how the rich and famous of our world made it where they are, we can still learn more about success from their character than prescriptions.
In these books one gets a hint into the peculiar mannerisms of these people and how these played a role in their pursuit for success especially in business. For every successful business, there seems to be someone at the top whose unique thinking and perception shaped and steered an organisation or company forward.
If we look at global brands like Google, Facebook, Microsoft or Apple we see the visionary leadership provided by those at the top to pursue a long term shot at success. Apple’s Steve Jobs has defined the perception of consumer preferences.
According to him, a consumer has no idea of what they want and he felt it was his (or Apple’s) duty to redefine consumer tastes. And by the time he resigned, Apple had indeed shaped how we perceive luxury and efficiency when it comes to gadgets like Mac computers, iPods, iPhones, and now iPads.
Mark Zuckerberg’s different perception towards social relations had him build the world’s largest social media platform, Facebook. His new thinking had over 800 million people surrendering personal information by joining the network and consequently turning it one of those sites where the addiction never seems to wane.
Of course the thinking of Bill Gates made computers indispensable to every day life. His achievements with the PC and his windows software has made the world almost hostage to his thinking.
The duo at Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the best description of the cliché, changing the game. These engineers drew from their background as engineers to strive for efficiency as they embarked on reorganising the world’s information.
In one particular book, an author comparing the two to the then CEO at Viacom (largest media company by the time Google was formed) said the Viacom CEO saw himself as a CEO of a media company while the Google ‘boys’ perceived themselves as missionaries out to change the world.
I have also heard Amin Gafaranga, the guy behind the Shokola coffee franchise here in Rwanda pointing out that his coffee shops do not sell coffee, they sell the coffee experience. The unique ambience at these places is testimony to the young entrepreneur’s thinking.
Success is therefore much easier to reach in business if the people at the helm have a unique but well thought out perception of what they are intending to offer to the world. Convinced that the world needs a revolutionary experience, they then embark on a journey to midwife this experience.