I was reading the February edition of Fortune magazine on my flight back home and there’s so many nuggets of wisdom to take away from the articles. Here’s three big takeaways:
1.Diversification and commitment to quality. SAMSUNG
Samsung Electronics now no.20 on last years Fortune 500 ranking with $149 billion in revenue started with humble beginnings. Samsung started as a small supplier of dried fish and noodles in 1938. It’s only in the late 1960s that it entered the electronics business.
It was known first for cheap TVs and air cons. Legend has it that the younger son Lee sent out the company’s mobile phones as new year gifts and heard that they didn’t work. Horrified, at their Gumi factory, he made a giant heap of the entire inventory and set it on fire!
Samsung spent $8.7 billion on R&D efforts in 2012 and spent $349 million on marketing in the first 3 quarters of 2012.
Interesting trivia I found in the article was that Apple is one of Samsung’s largest component customers!
2.Long standing principles and staying privately owned: Mars
So much to learn from Mars, America’s third largest private company. The article is the introduction to the survey on the 100 best companies to work for. It describes the Mars headquarters as modest and meager without the trappings of size or the fun and games of the new age tech companies.
The board and owners are extremely private and haven’t given an interview in years. It’s interesting to see how a company of that scale and size can still stay private and boast of 11 brands with a revenue each of $1 billion or more!
3.workplace culture and people power: 100 best companies survey
Ideas I loved from the other 100 best companies to work for include the wellness center and free massages at Google, to an organic farm for SAS’s in house cafeterias, to Dress like your favourite president competitions at CHG Healthcare, to BCGs red zone report flagging individuals who work too many long weeks, zappos building a new campus in Vegas and so many more innovative ways to make the workplace more unique.
Dreamworks has a fresh juice truck that visits the campus making free smoothies, QPR has a bring your dog to work day, Alston &Bird has an entire wall for the artworks of employee children and Stryker has “pie your manager” competitions!