Ripping up the rules of management

In a Business 2.0 Slideshow eleven business leaders are portrayed who “achieved success by zigging while the rest of the world zagged”

Among them

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos:

It was a classic Bezos move: Give something away for free, but do it in such a way that it ends up expanding the business. That’s because he was one of the first people to stop thinking of the world of retailing as bricks and mortar, and to see it instead as databases and fulfillment mechanisms.

[…] Now Bezos is exploring yet more crazy ideas — and making Wall Street nervous all over again. He’s shifting his focus from the storefront to the back office, spending millions on Web services that look a lot like money-draining distractions.

Take Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, or S3, which charges 15 cents per gigabyte per month to store data on the company’s servers. It seems miles away from his core business of retail. But Web 2.0 startups have flocked to Amazon to save money and get to market more quickly.

Craig Newmark of Craigslist:

Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel:

[…] American Apparel has perfected a different model. The company manufactures all its hoodies, T-shirts, and underwear in a Los Angeles factory that pays its workers an average of $12 an hour. Then it ships the clothes to wholesalers and 150 company-owned stores worldwide. Charney calls it the “vertically integrated clothing company” and claims his gross margins are among the highest in the industry.

[…] “We’re going direct to consumers on one end, and direct to labor on the other,” Charney says. “There are no middlemen.”

[…] the speed with which he can deliver the latest cut is his competitive advantage. He can produce 100 variations of the same shirt, test them in a few stores, and then roll out the ones that sell best nationwide. A new design can get to the shelves in four days, something that would be impossible if Charney relied on outsourced factories.

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