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Lovability: How to Build a Business That People Love and Be Happy Doing It

Brian de Haaff

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Your principles are your true north because they instruct how you will handle every situation, especially when there is no easy choice.”

“What matters is how the people who work for your company interpret your values and put them into action.”

“Love is the surprising emotion that company builders cannot ignore.”

“Let’s consider another similar story — the dating website Plenty of Fish. German programmer Markus Frind started the company in 2003 as a programming exercise. He had been wanting to learn a new coding language called ASP.NET, so he built the site in two weeks — and to his surprise, it took off. Frind never raised a dime of outside money, because the venture was profitable from the beginning. “I didn’t see the need to raise money because I wouldn’t know what to do with it,” he said in a 2015 interview with Business Insider. “It was a profitable company, and there was no need to raise money.”3 Plenty of Fish grew slowly and organically for more than 10 years, eventually growing to about 75 employees and 90 million registered users. In 2015, Match Group (which also owns dating sites and OKCupid) bought Plenty of Fish for $575 million. “It wasn’t like I had a plan to create a dating site,” Frind said. “It was just a side project I created that got really big.” Not bad for what started as a hobby.”

“a “lovability economy” and show why it is not only practical but desirable to build businesses around integrity, human happiness, long-term sustainable prosperity, and mutually beneficial exchanges of value.”

“When I talk about kindness in business, a few people scoff. They say, “Steve Jobs and the leaders at Apple created a pressure-cooker environment but it produced category-defining products that people love and obsess over.” That is the point — the results are not worth the cost, because there is an alternative. The goal of TRM is to create a kind, sustainable, and fulfilling experience for everyone. Caring and a sense of purpose evoke better performance than pressure and fear. The idea that only obsessive egomaniacs can produce breakthroughs is nonsense. People are the most important resource for any business, and people — whether they are employees, vendors, or customers — respond best to kindness, respect, humility, and empathy. You never know what other people are going through in their lives. Many of us are under great stress, especially when business cycles shift and economic pressures build. Others are struggling in relationships. When everyone feels valued and heard, they are more likely to show up fully and bring their best each day. Kindness is the alternative to the unnecessary “business is war” analogies that are not only tiresome but borderline offensive. It is the opposite of the “outcome justified the means” mentality that drives many entrepreneurs to consider sacrificing everything (including their morals) to build $100 million businesses in seven years. It’s success without the collateral damage. This aspect of TRM creates a healthy framework for daily interactions and long-term goals and helps people avoid burnout even when they put in heavy hours over long periods of time. We are all naturally optimistic, motivated to be better tomorrow than we are today. A kind organization understands that and leverages it. Your goal is to build a product that lasts, but to do that, you must also build an organization, a work environment, and a fabric of relationships that last too. People will remain engaged and focused on achievements when they are doing something meaningful that they care about in an organization that lets them live the way they want to live. “Caring and a sense of purpose evoke better performance than pressure and fear. The idea that only egomaniacs can produce breakthroughs is nonsense.”

“When Craig Newmark launched what would become Craigslist back in 1995, not only did he not have outside funding, he did not even have a business plan. I do not recommend that, but he succeeded by creating something he cared about — an email distribution list in and around San Francisco — and posted it online. When it grew into a classified ad monster, investors pressured him to take their money. The company refused, waiting until 2004 to sell a 28.4 percent share to eBay. Craigslist Inc. has since bought back that share and continued to do things their way.9 As far back as 2006, the company’s president and chief executive Jim Buckmaster told reporters he was not interested in selling out, preferring to focus on helping users find apartments, jobs, and dates rather than on maximizing profit.10 When you only answer to yourself, you can concentrate on building value your way.”

“There are many ways to earn the love of employees. Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of multi-billion dollar yogurt maker Chobani, made headlines when he awarded his two thousand full-time employees stock worth up to 10 percent of the company’s value when it goes public or is sold. Ulukaya said in a letter to staff, “This isn’t a gift. It’s a mutual promise to work together with a shared purpose and responsibility. To continue to create something special and of lasting value.”3 Apart from making instant global news, the stock award was also a shrewd business move. Research from The University of Pennsylvania shows that employee-owned companies — even ones in which employees are minority owners — outperform their competitors.4 It is true that Ulukaya now has a slightly smaller stake in Chobani. But it is likely worth a lot more, especially when you consider this research and how employee owners are incentivized to work harder toward the success of the business.”

“Then there’s iRobot’s Roomba automated vacuum. It has been around for a while and became a punchline in YouTube videos featuring cats, dogs, kids, and turtles chasing, riding, or otherwise abusing the thing. But it is also a perfect example of a product that works well and satisfies a basic need — keeping your house clean 24 hours a day so you do not have to worry about messes. Customers love the Roomba. When you go to its Amazon product page, one of the first reviews is headlined, “I am in love!” That is the kind of enthusiasm and unbridled passion any company should be looking to engender.”

“The idea of putting customers first and acting with integrity is gaining traction. Outdoor-gear retailer REI received adulation for adhering to its values when it announced that it would not only close its stores on Black Friday in 2015 but pay its employees to get outside. Contrast that with blood-test startup Theranos. CEO Elizabeth Holmes was lauded as “America’s youngest self-made billionaire,”12 and the firm was quickly valued at $9 billion. Then, testing showed that the company’s flagship Edison device, which purported to deliver test results from a single drop of blood, did not work.13 The federal government swiftly began investigating Holmes, with regulators not only revoking the company’s license to operate but suggesting a ban preventing Holmes from owning or operating a lab for two years. Walgreens Boot Alliance Inc. sued Theranos for $140 million, equivalent to the amount the drugstore giant had invested in the startup. 14 In the fall of 2016, Theranos announced it would be shutting down its blood-testing facilities and shed at least 40 percent of its workforce. 15”

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Book Keywords:

inspiration, business, leadership, startups, business-advice, company-culture, product-management, principles, business-quotes

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