Strategy Letter I: Ben and Jerry’s vs. Amazon

Strategy Letter I: Ben and Jerry’s vs. Amazon

“Ben and Jerry’s exists because of the values of the founders, who would not accept growing faster than the rate at which that culture can be promulgated.” – Joel Spolsky

This is critical regardless of the goals of the company. One can only accept cultural seams if there is also a corporate boundary there – one which remarks ownership in addition to affiliation.

“With the Ben and Jerry’s model, if you’re even reasonably smart, you’re going to succeed.” – Joel Spolsky

I don’t think this is true. There’s a ton of reasons why reasonably smart, and cautious people fail. He’s right about the minimized down-side risk though.

“The trouble with the Amazon model is that all anybody thinks about is Amazon. And there’s only one Amazon.” – Joel Spolsky

“The worst thing you can do is fail to decide whether you’re going to be a Ben and Jerry’s company or an Amazon company.” – Joel Spolsky

Amen.

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