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Be the Best at What Matters Most: The Only Strategy You will Ever Need by Joe Calloway

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3

So Good at the Basics That You're Cutting Edge

Substance, Not Flash

When I say cutting edge, I mean being at the very front edge of creating value through innovation. I don't mean trendy or “all the rage,” unless that rage is able to produce and sustain a profit. By cutting edge, I mean a company that people talk about and study because it is able to win customers and keep them. I'm talking about substance, not flash. Let me tell you where I got the idea of being so good at the basics that you're cutting edge.

A Powerful Lesson

One of the most talked-about companies in the past few years, along with companies such as Apple, Google, and Starbucks, has been Zappos.com. Zappos started out selling shoes on the Internet, which in and of itself is a pretty gutsy thing to do. Their main product is something that you almost have to try on to know if you want it.

Today, Zappos sells a lot more than shoes. You can Google the company and find countless articles about it. Not only do people talk about Zappos, but business leaders go to Las Vegas, where the company is located, to study it for ideas they can take back home and use. It's a profitable company with a following of devoted customers and fans. I could write an entire book about Zappos, but the chief executive officer (CEO), Tony Hsieh, already has. It's called Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, and I highly recommend it.

So I won't go into detail about the remarkable approach that Zappos takes to deliver ...

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