The most successful companies are the ones you don't even know you're using because they work so well.
They do what they're supposed to so well that you don't even notice their presence. Meaning, they serve you as a customer so well - they know your needs well enough to give you a tool to accomplish them, without you even knowing you're using a tool.
Your hammer works so perfectly, that you only see the nail getting tightly lodged into the wood, forgetting about the tool in your hand.
The clothing fits so well and has such an empowering story behind it, that you feel more confident and powerful while wearing it.
The app that seamlessly gets you a ride from point A to point B, that you don't even remember using an app.
Think of Wikipedia, Amazon, and Google search. They're all second nature. You don't think about Google as a company when you search for something, just like you don't think of Wikipedia when you learn something from an article, or Amazon when you buy something online.
They all just seem to work.
The truth is - that's extremely difficult to do as a company. To be SO good that you just disappear into the backgrounds of your customers' lives, yet still fulfill their needs - that's what it means to win as a company.
But WHY are they so successful? What have they done differently? What DO they do differently that keeps them way ahead of any other organization?
I believe it's because they too, just like happy, fulfilled individuals, choose to focus on filling the substance bucket rather than the style bucket.
They are long-term thinkers, problem solvers, obsessed with their customers, not their products, so that no matter what new technological advances come their way, they find a way to add more value to people's lives than any other company.
Amazon, and its leader Jeff Bezos, is a great example of this. Not giving into the short-term fluctuations of its stock price and feeling like he has to please its shareholders, Bezos and his company are known for being long-term, customer-obsessed thinkers. No one can question the results of this.
That's what makes a successful individual, and that's what makes a successful company.
So why don't more companies do this?
The same reason why more people don't become happy.
It's the road less traveled. It involves risk. It involves more failure. It's harder to do.
But it sure as hell is worth it.
Live with substance!
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