Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 3/11/16

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Hewlett-Packard, Easy Caulk, InFocus, Ford, Amazon, and Radio Flyer.

From Robert A. Burgelman: Why Messy Beats Perfection at Hewlett-Packard

“Flexibility may be more important than dominance in the market.”

From Jim Buchta : Scandia man refines and reformulates until instant caulk product work

“Despite frustration and tragedy, a Scandia builder kept working on a distinctive caulk and finally broke through on QVC.”

From Mike Rogoway: InFocus seeks revival with video phones, conferencing

“That dream from the last century is what’s sustaining InFocus Corp., once among Oregon’s biggest technology companies, now struggling to find a place in a new era. The company’s wealthy owner won’t give up, though. California tech entrepreneur John Hui is bankrolling acquisitions and investments, hoping to revive InFocus’ brand.”

From Josh Linkner: What do Ford and Amazon have in common?

“Yet surprisingly, these two are more similar than meets the eye. Both are leading in their field, both are enjoying record growth and profits, and both innovate at a breathtaking pace. They also share some common strategies. While their tactics manifest differently in the marketplace, both subscribe to three similar philosophies that drive meaningful and sustainable success:”

From Sheila Marikar: How 100-Year-Old Radio Flyer Is Making $100 Million Again

“When Robert Pasin joined Radio Flyer, the iconic red wagon maker founded by his grandfather in 1917, the company wasn’t growing, and wasn’t profitable. Pasin was named CEO in 1997 and shifted Radio Flyer’s focus from manufacturing to product development. The company has since been on the Inc. 5000 four times. In 2015, sales topped $100 million. Pasin explains how he got the company rolling again.”

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