The Vision Thing
For me the most underplayed and underrated customer strategy is vision. Some executives have a knack for what customers will demand. That's not what the customer will need or want, mind you. It's knowing what the customer will demand. Vision is the difference between opening a new bookstore and starting Amazon.com. It's the difference between firing channel partners in favor of greater efficiency and empowering channel partners to open new kinds of product lines. I stole that last one from John Chambers at Cisco. Vision also seems to be the product of hard work. Even with his current reponsibility of running one of the biggest companies in the world, Chambers still spends more than half his time with customers.
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