Adrian Slywotzky Quotes

Best 13 Quotes by Adrian Slywotzky

“The game of business used to be like football: size mattered. Then it changed to basketball: speed and agility.

Today, business is more like chess. Customer priorities change continually, and the signals given by these changes are vital clues to the next cycle of growth.”

Demand Quotes

“From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: ‘Tough’ and ‘Competent’.

Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do. We will never again compromise our responsibilities. Every time we walk into Mission Control we will know what we stand for.”


“If you gather a team of experienced leaders and ask them why past projects failed, the explanations flow readily:

- the project was bigger than we realised
- we were too slow
- our design was flawed
- we were operating from faulty assumptions
- the market changed
- we had the wrong people
- our technology didn’t work
- our strategy was unclear
- our costs were too high
- our organisation sabotaged us
- the competition was tougher than we thought
- we reorganised ourselves to death
- we fought among ourselves
- our strategy was flawed
- our strategy was good but our execution was lousy
- we ran into unexpected bottlenecks
- we misunderstood our customers
- we were short on resources
- the economics didn’t work
- we got killed by internal politics
- ...”


“Lovallo and Kahneman offer a useful prescription to repair this cognitive bias: Get the data. Track down actual figures on launch failure rates for your company, your industry, other industries or projects similar to yours. The numbers will be fascinating – and sobering.”


“Risky launches are, as if intoxicated by their own sense of self-confidence, they plunge ahead, often committing many of the same mistakes that have doomed countless launches before them. They end up adding to the dismal failure statistics.”


“The heroism Kranz displayed in that situation wasn’t physical heroism, military heroism or political heroism, but organisational heroism, which is arguably every bit as important but which often gets short shrift.

Compounded of tenacity, imagination, shrewd judgement, self-awareness and sheer willpower, it’s a form of heroism that’s desperately needed today and that is in especially short supply in most failed launch attempts.”


“Try this nightmare exercise: Imagine disaster. Ask why you failed; list all the possible reasons. Then do your best to counter those mistakes before they have a chance to occur.

Most launches die from self-inflicted wounds. It means that if you’re willing to take a clear-eyed look at the forces seemingly conspiring to derail your next launch, you’ll probably find that the most powerful factors are actually under your control.”


How to Grow When Markets Don't Quotes

“The concept of selling solutions isn’t wrong. It’s based on a valid recognition of the enormous unmet needs most customers have.

But very few companies have figured out how to implement the concept profitably. Most failed attempts to deliver solutions have suffered from one of two common flaws.

First, many are uncompelling or undifferentiated in the customer’s eyes. Sometimes the word solution is simply code for a consultative selling process or an attempt to pitch some kind of service agreement along with the product.

Sometimes the solution is more significant, but undifferentiated. Take outsourcing as an example. Many companies have moved to take over and run some customer function, such as the mail room or call center, and then struggled to make money.

The reason: In most cases, this is simply a cost-of-capital or -labor play, based on the notion that the contractor can run the operation more cheaply than the client firm. The function’s role in enhancing the customer’s business scarcely changes.

Not surprisingly, this purely cost-based value proposition leads to rapid downward pricing pressure and service commoditization.

The other major problem with many attempts to create solutions is their complexity. Once a company has developed a compelling solutions offering, reaching and serving the customer often requires the creation of a highly skilled delivery force that is hard to scale up.

The result is a small, marginally profitable operation that clings to relevance on the periphery of the business.”

How to Grow When Markets Don't

The Art of Profitability Quotes

“I don’t understand why the computer guys let others sell the follow-up memory, why the car guys let others sell the insurance and the extended warranty, and so on.”

The Art of Profitability

“It’s a completely different business model! – he exclaimed – You need different skills, different people, different systems, different databases. There’s also less psychic satisfaction, less glamor, and less visibility compared to the glamor of the original equipment business.

As in ‘I sold ten auto insurance policies today’. Big deal! Or ‘I sold ten elevator maintenance contracts today’. Big deal! You don’t get great press notices or win trips to Hawaii for that.”

The Art of Profitability

“The big-ticket hardware folks invest the capital, take all the risks — which are huge — suffer the losses and the write-downs, and then let somebody else capture the business that has predictability, lower price sensitivity, higher margins, recurring revenue, and the opportunity to create an ongoing customer relationship, because the frequency of purchase is ten times greater than the frequency of the initial transaction.”

The Art of Profitability

“When you point a finger at someone, always remember that three fingers are pointing back at you.”

The Art of Profitability

The Upside Quotes

“Risk is just an expensive substitute for information.”

The Upside

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