When I first quit my job to see what I could do via an entrepreneurial project, I wrote down a set of general guiding principles to follow in running the project. As we have moved towards a knowledge/service based economy (and now connected/globalized/Internet economy) from an industrialized mind-set, work and businesses have been fundamentally altered. Employees and customers are no longer soulless commodities out of which companies must wring as much labor or money but more partners in the process. It is a fundamental shift, and firms that not only recognize this but implement policies, brands, and strategies along these lines will flourish. Virgin, Amazon, Apple, JetBlue, the list goes on. When dealing with solid, personalized brands that respect and solicit the opinions and experiences of customers and employees, business takes on a much more pleasant, useful, and satisfying tone. Thus, I would aim for:
1. Radical Transparency; internally and externally.
3. Flexibility. Owning as little as possible: software, infrastructure, inventory. Use SaaS. Outsource/Freelance. Light weight operations.
4. Continuous Iterative improvement.
5. Making life easier.
7. Radical customer centricity. Worrying less about the competition or term strategy and more about what the customer is asking for. Soliciting ideas, designs, and help from everywhere: internally and externally.