Great Entrepreneurs on the Companies They Love

Chip Conley, Southwest Airlines
Photo of Chip Conley courtesy
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Chip Conley on Southwest Airlines

I'm a big fan of many airlines that slug it out in such a tough industry, but Southwest Airlines is my favorite. Let's start with the fact that they visualized the potential in an executive assistant (Colleen Barrett, assistant to Herb Kelleher) and grew her into being the president of the company.

Secondly, they believe that your culture is your brand and they've invested, financially and emotionally, in developing a vibrant, fun, effective corporate culture. Lastly, on virtually all metrics, they've been the industry leaders for decades and they've done so by being a low-price competitor for the consumer. Not easy to be the cheapest and the best, but, in so doing, they've transformed their industry.

Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hotels and author of Emotional Equations