What Makes a Business Great?

This article is awesome.

Why does Dell Computer continually make money and gain market share selling commodity products that decline in price every day, while other companies in the same business struggle to earn a dime?

Why has Royal Bank of Canada increased revenues by $1 billion over the past three years while also cutting costs by $1 billion—its stock rising 100% while the market has tanked?

Why has BA for years beaten the daylights out of American Airlines in the highly lucrative business of flying customers between New York and London in first class—using the same kind of aircraft between the same airports?

Though these companies operate in very different industries and face widely diverse challenges, the major reason for their success is the same. They are putting their customers at the center of their business in ways most companies do poorly or not at all. They understand that success depends most fundamentally on the profits they earn from customers—and on management's ability to improve that profitability by creating competitively dominant customer experiences, or value propositions.

This is gospel for businesspundits like me. It is a simple rule. If you want to succeed, know your customers. They are the reason your business exists.