1, You have to love it first. You have to love it the most. You have to sweat each detail. And that love should never stop. Each detail considered. Each detail re-considered. It has to matter to you. Then, and only then, will your customers notice that you give a shit about them. And then you will have a relationship with your customer.
2, Create value. Then Profit. Make your product faster, cheaper, healthier, smarter, easier etc. Anything with an ‘ER’ at the end of it is a good indication of you doing something right. Profit will only come once you have created value for them. We all like value. It comes before profit.
3, Think like a customer. Put them first. Always. Don’t let bean counters cut quality in order improve margins. Long-term relationships with your customers should never be sacrificed for short-term profits. It is much easier to find a new bean counter than finding a new customer.
4, Reputations can take decades to make. And seconds to lose. Everything matters. All of the time.
5, Building a company takes time. Like planting a tree, it cannot be rushed. And as you stare at it, it can look like nothing is going on. In your pocket, carry a doodle of the fully-grown tree. Carry the dream with you. Patience is scarce these days. And you are going to need it in spades.
6, Trust. Passion. Care. Quality. These are all good things to scale.
7, You can’t out spend your competition. But you can out think them. Ideas are your secret weapon.
8, Don’t try to get rich quick. Instead, understand that things of meaning take time. Get rich slow.
9, The best brands change something. They have a reason to exist beyond the product or the service they provide. They have something bigger that they are fighting against.
10, If you feel something for the brand you are creating, make sure your customer can feel it too. Communicate well.
11, A brand is just a human spirit put into a product or service. Remember, you are human. And so is your customer.
12, Admit errors. But don’t repeat them.
13, Luck. Be grateful for it. But work so hard that you are not dependent upon it.
14, A brand is a set of values. Be clear what they are. And stick to them. You have to believe in them on the good days and the not so good. Don’t waiver.
15, Great people build the great brands. Hire well.
16, Don’t chase a fashion. That train has already left. Instead, be first. Find the gap. See something before others.
17, Start small. But start. It’s never been better to be small. Or cheaper.
18, Be narrow. Focus on a niche. It is better to mean something to a small bunch of people, than mean nothing to a large bunch of people.
19, Be Consistent. Trust is built by consistency.
20, The small things you do will matter. Like writing a letter. People remember the small things.
21, Aim to be the best at what you do. Average is an over supplied market.
22, Make your company fun to work in. Fun finds its way into the product.
23, Enjoy the tree growing. It's your tree. Love it.