Focus and boiled frogs: Jobs' wisdom

Corporate July 21, 2012 00:00


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Banthoon Lamsam, chief executive officer of Kasikornbank, said at a talk show titled


Enterprises also have to “simplify” their products while making them interesting, like the iPhone, which is simple to use. Though the production process is complicated, there is a combination of technology and creation.

“We learn from Jobs how to compete in the world market ... We have to take ‘responsibility from end to end’,” Banthoon said.

He said the principle of “taking responsibility from end to end” meant taking care of a thing completely.

Suthichai Yoon, chairman of Nation Multimedia Group, commented on another principle of Jobs’ called “when behind, leapfrog”, noting that if Thai businesses did nothing, they would be phased out of the market. He compared this to a frog that, if it is thrown into hot water, will leap out. On the other hand, if it is put into a pot of water that is gradually heated to boiling point, it will not leap out, as it grows familiar with the hotter and hotter water, until it dies.

“Thai enterprises should not become familiar with a given current situation. They might die because of the hot environment, eventually. When the AEC comes, it doesn’t mean we will immediately collapse, but we will be gradually sucked out of the market,” Suthichai said.

Banthoon agreed that not only should Thai companies chase their competitors, they should leap ahead of them.

On the principle of “tolerate only ‘A’ players”, Banthoon said applying this to Thai society would require caution, because there might be rebellion. Leaders will have to persuade subordinates to see the importance of goals and draw a big picture to encourage them. However, leaders also need to know whether projects proposed by subordinates will succeed. This is a mix of science and art.

Talking about the “put product before profit” principle, Suthichai said Jobs used his imagination to create a product, shrugging off market-demand surveys.

Banthoon pointed out that many Thai entrepreneurs were not brave enough to use that principle. When the AEC comes, the market will be wider with a larger number of rivals. However, the point is that products must have quality standards while being simple to use.

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