Peloton announced blowout earnings in September, which helped it join an elite club that includes Apple, Netflix, and Tesla. These companies not only delight their customers and create enormous shareholder value; they’re also rewriting some specific, outdated rules on what drives effective business strategy.
If you want to thrive in today’s market, it’s worth understanding exactly what’s behind these companies’ growth…and how different it is from the way companies used to think.
A quarter-century ago, in their widely acclaimed book Competing for the Future, C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel tried to explain why the biggest companies thrive. Their answer: These market leaders identified the part of business they’re best at—be it engineering, product design, manufacturing, supply-chain management, or something else—and they continually reinvest in it. Most everything else is outsourced to third parties.
For example, Walmart exploited its expertise in global sourcing and supply-chain management, but it didn’t bother manufacturing its own products. Toyota, meanwhile, achieved market leadership by excelling in product engineering and manufacturing, but it left its retailing operations to independent car dealers.
This approach gained traction and was echoed by influential business thinkers for decades. It’s why when Apple first announced plans to open company-owned stores and Amazon began designing its own consumer electronics, critical pundits piled on. In 2001, for example, Bloomberg ran a commentary titled “Sorry, Steve [Jobs]: Here’s Why Apple Stores Won’t Work.” And Amazon was often pilloried after launching its first-generation Kindle.
Both the Apple Store and Kindle were huge successes, of course. So what did the critics miss? They were attached to the old “capability-driven strategy”— the idea that companies should focus on what they’re best at. But the idea was flawed and getting old.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
WE KNOW LESS THAN WE THINK
And that’s a good thing! The greatest lesson from the pandemic is this: Possibilities are endless.
READY FOR A BIG RETURN
The end of the pandemic is in sight, and many franchises are anticipating an explosion in business. Leaders at four franchises share how their brands are working overtime to prepare for the rush and win back coveted business.
DESKS THAT KILL ZOOM FATIGUE?
Another workday at home getting you down? A new line of desks will help you up— and help you maintain focus.
ONE RESTAURANT, EIGHT BRANDS
To boost sales during the pandemic, the founders of Dog Haus flooded the delivery apps with virtual restaurants that operate out of existing franchise kitchens. They’ve been so valuable that they’re now here to stay.
MAKING BIG CHANGES IN TIMES OF BIG CHANGE (OR WHY AMAZON CREATED THE KINDLE)
Entrepreneurs are defined by how they adapt during crises. In this exclusive excerpt from their book Working Backwards, longtime Amazon execs Colin Bryar and Bill Carr reveal how the company dealt with massive disruption…and transformed itself as a result.
The year 2021 may feel uncertain, but set your expectations high anyway. Doing so will become your guiding force.
THE TIME FOR REINVENTION IS NOW
Our world has changed. As people—and as entrepreneurs—we should change, too. Follow these three steps to find new opportunities and capture them with success.
HIS WORST FIVE YEARS WERE HIS LIFE'S BEST GIFT
What is it like to build a hit business and then lose all control? Oded Brenner, the founder of Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man has a lot to say about that.
HOW TO TAKE DOWN GOLIATH
The biggest companies can still be taken down by the smallest startups. Here are four strategies disruptors use to fight their way up.
THE RISE OF THE SMART BOARD
Miss having in-person meetings in front of whiteboards? Now you can replicate them remotely.
Evolution of the App
The introduction of the iPhone in 2007—or, more specifically, Apple opening its App Store to third-party developers in 2008—turned out to be one of the most consequential developments ever to hit the home automation market.
Next–gen arrives with M1, Liquid Retina XDR, 5G, and Thunderbolt
APPLE HAS UNVEILED a redesigned Podcasts app, podcast channels, and Apple Podcasts Subscriptions, a global marketplace for listeners to discover premium subscriptions offered by their favorite creators alongside the millions of free shows available.
Apple TV 4K
Now with 60fps HDR and all–new remote
All–new iMac is here!
Slim, stylish, next–gen iMac with Apple silicon
LOSSLESS: APPLE MUSIC PREMIERES DOLBY ATMOS, SPATIAL AUDIO
In an effort to better compete with the likes of Spotify, Apple Music has announced plans to introduce industry-leading sound quality, as well as Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos support.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT APPLE'S TRACKING DEVICE
GET THE LOWDOWN ON APPLE’S OWN ITEM TRACKERS.
Why did Apple's original Hom fail? Let's count the reasons
Apple’s first smart speaker just met a surprising end, but it was one we could see coming
24-Inch M1 iMac – How To Pick The Perfect Preorder
Here’s our guide to help you buy the one you need.
24-Inch M1 iMac
New colors, new chip, and much, more