Colin Barry

Value Proposition (15.390, Monday, Week 6)


Three axes of competition (more useful than just thinking quality vs. price):
Product excellence/innovation => Ex. Google => typically dominated by engineering or product management
Low price => Ex. Walmart => typically dominated by logistics/operations
Customer intimacy => Ex. (Old) IBM or Zappos => typically dominated by sales

How life works in a firm focused on customer intimacy:
"If your customer thinks the Wang Laboratories product is better and you can't convince them otherwise, then you go and you buy the Wang product and you sell it to your customer. But you never, ever let your customer talk to Wang." -- Bill Aulet on life in IBM's sales organization

Why customer intimacy works:
The customer may not always think your product is better or cheaper, but they trust that your sales force will ensure that your product does the job and doesn't break. Also, your customer knows where your sales force lives.

On mixed/unfocused strategies (cheap and high quality!):
"Mermaid strategies --- try to do two things and do neither of them well. You're neither a woman or a fish!" -- Bill Aulet