Know What Matters – Part 1 Ron Shaich

1. Future Back. Take the time now, while you still have a runway into the future, to determine whether you are living a life you will respect. Don’t wait until the end.Discover today what will matter tomorrow and then bring what matters to life.
2. In life and in business, intent is everything.

3. Competitive Advantage is Everything. Successful innovation : Recognizing the job that a customer is trying to accomplish and helping them get it done better.

4. I go to work to learn about life.

5. You don’t need to be everything to everyone, but you need to be number one for someone.

6. The world doesnt pay any of us to do what everyone else is doing.

7. Means, Ends and By -Products. Means ( Initiatives and projects executed with discipline ), Ends ( Competitive Advantage) and By-products ( Value Creation )

8. Entrepreneurs Are Opportunists. Opportunity grows out of observation and being curious. I like people, and i love figuring things out.

9. Entrepreneurs are opportunists, not capitalists.

10. Value is created through the ability to see the opportunity – to recognize a need and a possible solution before anyone else sees it and then have the courage and creativity to perform the job for a customer.

11. Venture capitalists see risks as financial. Opportunistic entrepreneurs see risk as missing out on an opportunity to meet a need. Based on what i saw ( no one grumble on the 15 minutes queue ), heard, smelled and tasted that day, i sensed an opportunity.

12. Think Before You IPO. An IPO is just like a wedding – everyone gets carried away in the ceremony, the promise and the emotions of the moment. After every wedding comes the hard work of marriage. Being married to tens of thousands of investors is no happily ever after fairy tale. Invariably, you get pulled to short term focus. Would i be able to protect the company’s long term interests from the pressure to produce short term results for the investors pouring money into our stock. I think of myself as a skeptical optimist.

13. People will often tell you that everything bad contains something good. But i believe the opposite is true as well.

14. The greatest threat of all to a successful company is itself. Acting today is difficult especially when you are on top.

15. You Take The Money; I’ll Take Control. Capital is a renewable resource. The capacity to control your future, once lost, is gone forever. Create dual classes of stock. Class A – Common Stock ( Limited Voting Rights ). Class B – ( More voting rights for founders, executives and their families ).

16. Feeding the Growth Monster. What makes a company valuable? ( Unique offering, Recognizable brand, its assets, its potential for impact , IP, expertise, people. But for investors – perception of future growth).

17. Empathy Unlocks the Future. Product of empathy : making the effort to feel what other people were feeling – their need and desires, and why they were satisfied or disappointed. Empathy is key to innovation and the root of all learning because its the key to human relationships.

19. I want to know what i’ve got before i try to make it into something else ( after acquiring a company).

20. Discovering Today What Will Matter Tomorrow. Identify small pockets of tomorrow that already existed today and answer a critical question : What will matters to more and more of middle America in the future? The label on the bottle is a mirror for who people perceive themselves to be. It making a statement about who you are.

21. Ask customers why they chose the place over others. Took notes of the atmosphere, the decor, the style, how the staff worked, the way they dressed, the kinds of people who visited, the things they were talking, how the artisan breads were baked, the feeling of the heart and soul that these places exuded.

22. Emotional Intelligence and training in psychology. People dont just want a special product. They want to feel special in a world in which they are no longer are. A drive for specialness. Consumers wanted experiences that they respected and that respected them. In a society where real meaning felt hard to come by, they craved small everyday experiences that added up to something bigger.

23. Empathy Unlocks the Future. We are in the experience business. What matters? Unless you take the time to learn what matters, you’ll miss the opportunity to discover truly significant trends, address the deepest human needs and build something that will have real impact.

24. Who are our customers? How do we understand the structure and niches of the market?

25. What matters to the target consumers in each niche? What do they want?

26. What jobs do they need us to complete?

27. And what do we have to do better than our competitors to win their loyalty?

28. Learning on trips are built on developing deep empathy with customers. Empathy requires that you pull away from your own concerns and obsessions and extend yourself – emotionally and mentally – into another people’s mind and experiences.

29. Defining What You Stand For. Conjure up a picture of what you want to create. Create a Pinterest from the “listening tour” of West Coast cafe scene. Conjure a picture of what you want to create. Collage of our favourite features ( 5 senses – sight, smell, taste , feel, hear ). Take what you had learned about the powerful trends that were playing out in consumer society – pushback against commodification, drive toward specialty and craft, widespread for community, and create from them a totally new customer experience that would land us in the path of the industry’s future that we have selected ( in this case food industry’s future. )

30. How do you capture your vision and communicate it such that everyone in the company gets it and make it happen just as you imagine? Alignment. Create a document called Concept Essence – what makes us special in the eyes of our target guest. How your customer experience us? Emotional blueprint for how a company is going to go to market, how it intent to compete and its competitive DNA. End to end vision of what we deliver to our guests and how. Captures the personality of a brand being envisioned. Our North Star – using words to sketch the detail. Offer 80-85% clarity on who you hope to be.

31. Concept Essence purposes- (1) forces innovator to define the future in vivid and precise terms, turn it around and look at it from all sides. (2)
tool to sell your vision of the future to those who must execute on it.

32. What matters. Take time to truely define the solution you are imagining. Knowing what will matter tomorrow – and being able to see it clearly, feel it, state it, communicate it to people who you need help to bring it to life. 33. Getting It Done. Fail fast work in software but trying to build a lasting brand, to create a relationship with your customers for long term, and dealing with fixed assets, putting the work up right for the tens to thousands – crashing into the rocks along the way cant be par for the course. Each false start erodes trust, hacks credibility – leader’s most valuable currency.

34. You Don’t Own the Business; the Business Owns You. Tradeoffs. Similarly to addiction that exacts high price. For every great quarter you get to celebrate, there are dozens of family dinners missed. Entrepreneurs are constantly plagued by self doubt. Even when personal life is falling apart, you have to keep showing up for everyone else. At its best, entrepreneurial life is filled with camaraderie and joys of collaboration. When the wind blows against you, you often realize you are on your own. My work is an extension of my personal values so i cant relegate to a convenient box that i close up at 5pm every day. These kind of struggles are unavoidable for someone who is trying to authentically make a difference to the world. To survive the challenges of entrepreneurial life, only one prescription – love the work.

35. Business ( and Life ) Requires Hard Choices. Leadership and Life – is all about choices. You can be a victim to circumstances and other people’s agendas or you can make a choice. The quality of your business and your life depends on you doing so. You can do anything, but you cant do everything. Most people can only do a handful of things well in a lifetime, so if you’re going to do things well, you need to do less. You need to pick things that matter. Fewer things done well : recipe for a successful business and impactful life. Trade-offs are inevitable. And not choosing is still choosing – it’s the worst choice of all. How many times did not say no today? ( Job’s question to design chief ) . The harder, most important task is figuring what to say yes to. As leaders, in incumbent on us to discover the 1, 2 or 3 things that will make the most difference in vaulting the company into future and do everything in our power to execute on those few initiatives. Do 1 or 2 things really well and ignore the rest. Push past the distractions , pick the right stuff and do it right. 36. What really matters – Limited Time, Talent , Treasury. Talent ( People, Their Energy, creativity Emotional Commitment and intellectual engagement ). Spending them on what truly matters to the long term health of the organization. When it came to Talent, i picked the best people who shared my enthusiasm for the opportunities ahead.

37. Develop with Discipline. How to manage Wall Street’s quarter to quarter myopia while building for the future? Dont make a decision until you need to. Franchisees as customers. Growth requires discipline. Take time to study and understand what drives successful unit development.

38. Break the Cycle of Failure. Making managers partners. Joint Venture Partner programs. To get employees engage, contribute , and exceed expectations, you need to give team members a slice of ownership. Change the system, change the results. The restaurant managers were charged rent ( budgeted profit of the restaurant ), and they shared the profits above that hurdle. Commitment to stay in the cafe for 5 years – stability of leadership and lifestyle they desire. Profit distribution to improve the cafe. Encourage people to give all they are capable of giving.

39. Be the Innovator in Chief. Discovery and Delivery – the 2 essential activites for company to remain relevant. Discovery is the leap of faith that brings innovation to life. Delivery is the work of running the company. The trap growing companies too often fall into is letting delivery squelch discovery. Discovery – Imagine, Delivery Prove it to me! The most impactful role a leader plays is protecting the people who are dreaming about where the company can be in 3, 5 or 10 years and often fighting for discovery personally. Dont delegate Discovery. Discovery is the CEO’s number one job and should never be delegated.


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