Tren Griffin shares what he's learned about business and why you need more than skills to survive.
Recently Tren Griffin, a strategist for Microsoft, shared 12 quotes that summarize what he feels he's learned as a businessman for one of the world's most prestigious tech companies.
Here are three favorites along with some insight:
Our whole business model is to do a few things very well and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Jim Spady, chief financial officer of Dick's Drive-in Restaurant
"Anyone who has ever eaten 'Chicken Rice' from a hawker stand in Singapore knows what happens when someone spends 40 years making the same dish," writes Griffin. "You get awfully good at it. People line up to buy it, your costs drop, and you get scale advantages. Costco limits what it does in a way that generates attractive sustainable competitive advantage."
It's incredibly arrogant for a company to believe that it can deliver the same sort of product that its rivals do and actually do better for very long. Michael Porter, director of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School
"Just trying to rely on being good at what you do is a hard road to walk," insists Griffin. "Maybe you get some scale benefits by making great Chicken Rice, but that is a weaker form of moat than network effects."
A customer that 'chooses' your firm's services will be much more satisfied than one that is persuaded to buy your product through spend. Bill Gurley, general partner at Benchmark
"Big firms have these huge marketing budgets and forget that the essence of business is being able to cost-effectively acquire a customer," writes Griffin. "Spending on customer acquisition should be tracked on a per customer basis. People who want to spend, for example, '$100 million' on marketing without breaking it down and working it out on a per customer basis are due for a fall."
JANA KASPERKEVIC is a graduate of Baruch College, City University of New York, where she earned a bachelors degree in Journalism and Political Science. She covers start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurship for Inc. Her work has appeared in The Village Voice, InvestmentNews, Business Insider, and Houston Chronicle, among others. She lives in Brooklyn. @kasperka