The Secret to How These Companies Win


The following video is taken from an interview that Motley Fool analyst Brendan Byrnes recently had with Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception. Godin is also a talented public speaker, marketing guru, blogger, entrepreneur, and respected thought leader.

Seth's forward-thinking and contrarian views are critical considerations for finding success in life, business, and investing. It's the same approach our own chief investment officer, Andy Cross, took when selecting The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013. Uncover his market-beating thoughts in a new free report. Just click here now for instant access.


Brendan Byrnes: Let's talk about the impact overall, on companies. Obviously, not everyone can own their own business or be a self-starter in that sense. Some people are going to have to work for corporations.

We've seen the "conscious capitalism" movement, which is purpose over profit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders, employees included -- Whole Foods, Costco, Southwest Airlines, Google, embracing these. Do you think that this helps companies as well, when they embrace these thoughts?

Seth Godin: I want to start by saying, some people have to shovel crap and do horrible jobs, but it doesn't have to be you. Let's start with that. These doors are open.

That doesn't mean you have to be an entrepreneur. There are plenty of people inside organizations who are making this art. What I'm arguing from an economics point of view is this: If your company makes what someone else makes, you are in a race to the bottom.

If you say, "We're just like them, but a little cheaper," you're in a race to the bottom, and when that happens, you're in trouble because you might win, and it's no fun.

The companies that are going to win are the ones that are in a race to the top. The way you race to the top is by creating connections that other people aren't making, by innovating in ways that other people aren't innovating.

When that culture starts to hit the ground running -- Nike launches two or three new shoe models every morning, and two or three more every afternoon -- when you start creating that cycle, then progress gets made.

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Brendan Byrnes has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Costco Wholesale, Google, Nike, Southwest Airlines, and Whole Foods Market and owns shares of Costco Wholesale, Google, Nike, and Whole Foods Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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