Category Archives: Ideas

10 imperatives for success – particularly but not exclusively in the digital economy

Rolf Hansen, simyo founder and CEO, started Germany’s first mobile no-frills provider. Based on his experience he formulated ten rules that are constitutional for success, particularly but not exclusively in the digital economy.

“The first and most important imperative for any executive in the business world is to be prepared the “dgital revolution “. This means to be informed about all developments in your particular business and in the broader business segment and to be ready for major, sometimes disruptive, changes.

Just as important is the second rule: engage with your customers. They can become everything from sales force to evangelists, but you have to be gentle to them and understand and serve their desires and needs. Always!

No matter how successful you are: avoid hybris. This is rule number three. You should never overestimate your own capabilities and search to cover all parts of the value chain – focus on your core competences and partner with the best.

The fourth rule to accept the marketing paradigm shift, instead of ignoring it. Executives should consider new media and new formats and use the power of (online) co-operation with other companies instead of prevailing in the old world of classic media mixes.

Rule number five: technology at any costs – do not take that bait! Solutions and user interface are king. If the product is complex and there is no joy of use – forget about it, as the customers will not approve it either.

Traditional advertising is no longer the best choice. Managers should be aware that customers are equal to them in terms of access to information and that they want to be treated accordingly. It´s the age of the adolescent customer – and the ultimate end of bullshitting in advertising. So rule number six is: quit traditional advertising now!

The seventh rule is to think “no frills”, to concentrate on real value at reasonable prices and to focus on serving the basic customer desires.

That leads to rule number eight: do not overstretch the internet-expectations as needs and desires will not be changed by technology. Consumers still want to consume – and they expect easy and fun solutions.

Rule number nine: trust is mission critical. It is hard (yet so easy) to build trust – but it is essential, as the age of the internet does not forget a single lie.

The last rule is to always act “human centric” not technocratic. One of the most important understandings for digital businesses is that human impetus and desires remain unchanged, and that the “analogue” aspects of human life will never disappear, no matter how much we love digital.”

What do you think about those imperatives, do you approve? What are your suggestions for companies in the digital economy? What is the key to success in your opinion – today and in the future? I am looking forward to your comments.