According to this article, which just appeared on MSNBC.com, Stuben Glass will shut down for good just after Thanksgiving after more than 100 years of leading the world in fine glassmaking. How do you fall from grace after such a long run? That’s a question for the ages with no single answer of course, but the answers are certainly relevant to any business selling products or services—and that would be any business. And so I present this quote from the article, which is so concise and so accurate that it needs no added gloss from me:
“They totally lost their way,” sniffed Jeff Purtell, a Steuben dealer in Portsmouth, N.H. “If your design department is pathetic, your costs are prohibitive, and your marketing — and vision for the future — is not successful, then you’re doomed whether you’re making Steuben glass or Twinkies.”
Or electronic systems or semiconductors for that matter. Notice the Stuben dealer’s recognition of design, fabrication costs, and marketing. There is no more concise, no more accurate formulation for success or failure. You need to have your hands on all three knobs to succeed. Slip your hands from any one of the three and your income engine will quickly run out of steam.