November was Entrepreneurship Month on the Rule Breaker Investing podcast, and in this segment, Motley Fool co-founders David and Tom Gardner discuss some of their best advice for anyone else who wants to start a business, be their own boss, and create a lasting enterprise.
This final tip is borrowed from the remarkable CEO of Middleby, Selim Bassoul: If something is easy to do, and right for the customer, it's not a competitive advantage for you to do it. If it's hard to do, and right for the customer -- and they are willing to pay for it -- that may be the winner you are looking for.
A transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on Nov. 9, 2016.
David Gardner: Tip No. 5.
Tom Gardner: Tip No. 5 comes from Selim Bassoul, the CEO of Middleby, which has been a 115-bagger since he took over in 2000. He's a remarkable person. I recommend reading about that company. He said this at some point, that I really love, which is, if it's easy to do, and it's right for the customer, that's not a competitive advantage. You have to do that. You should have been doing that. You should do that.
If it's hard to do, and it's right for the customer, you should really look at that closely. Now, if it's hard to do, and it's right for the customer, but the customer is not willing to pay more for it, that's probably not ...
But if it's hard to do, and it's right for the customer, and the customer will pay up for that, that's a competitive advantage. Because many businesses are going to look for, when the going gets tough, or they have short-term pressure from their investors, or their public, and they have quarterly conference calls, they're looking for shortcuts to make their numbers.
And if your business, instead, can say, "Hey, we're not going to focus on that. We're going to build something that's complex that customers will really want," you know that many other companies are not going to take the time to try and figure out the complexity of that offering.
And there are many different aspects of that. To embrace complexity in your culture, how you recruit and develop people and retain people that work there, or how you design product, or how you structure the capital ownership structure of your business. If it's hard to do, you're going to gain a competitive advantage if it's right for customers and stakeholders.
That's my fifth one, and in a way, it should be higher up, because Selim is such an incredible leader, and he's probably got a lot better points than that one, but that did ring true to me. It's like, look at everything you're doing and ask if there's something complex that would be great for customers, and are you working on that.
David: Each of those points was remarkable and wonderful, Tom. Thank you very much for coming and sharing them.