Which companies build products that are clearly amazing and do these companies exhibit the same "factors" associated with building great products that tech companies have.
To summarize the thread, the following were considered "factors" associated with creating amazing products:
- Sticking to core competencies.
- Taking tough decisions.
- A few core individuals making decisions.
- Use of technology.
Let me start by picking a company that builds what is considered to be the best products in their industry. Not a huge surprise that I am going to focus on cars. Pagani, the small supercar maker in Italy is the obvious choice in my mind. You would be surpised to know that people looking to spend a cool $1 million + on a car actually have a quite a few options: Koenigsegg, Spyker, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and probably some more I am missing, but in this rarified field there is only one company that motoring journalists, rich car buyers and drooling teenagers agree makes the most spectacular cars and that is Pagani.
I have talked about their cars before in my favorite sports cars section on this site, but check out some of their cars below to get a sense. The level of detail is out of this world, you should check out the examples I cite in my piece about the Pagani Zonda.
- Focus. They make one car model at any one time. Production since the company was founded in 1999 has been a total of just 200 cars. Seems like they are focused.
- Sticking to core competencies. Pagani makes only the highest end cars in the world. No hybrids, no $60k low-end rag top, just $1mm+ exotics. I would argue that so far they have stuck to the core competency.
- Taking tough decisions. They use AMG engines. In this league all the other carmakers develop their own engines from scratch, it is almost a badge of honer. Pagani doesn't.. They focus on the design, theatre, dynamics and attention to detail, leaving AMG to do what they do best and build insane engines.
- Priorities. I think priorities is like focus. If you are focused then you know your priorities. I would argue that Pagani has its priorities well set.
- A few core individuals making decisions. Horatio Pagani is the decision maker. Period.
- Use of technology. Horatio was at the leading edge of carbon fiber manufacturing for cars back when he worked at Lamboghini. The cars are tech marvels and use all the latest car tech, including the new Pagani Huayra which has active aerodynamics that adjust as you drive. The Huayra also has the first carbon-titanium monocoque ever in a production car (it is titanium weaved into the carbon fiber).
It looks to me like a car manufacturer that exhibits all the same factors that tech companies who build amazing products do. That's a good thing and I think it is something companies in other industries should pay attention to. When you see people talking about Apple and their products being amazing, don't just assume you can't take those lessons or factors and apply them to your business, no matter the industry.
Are there other companies out there who fit the mold that aren't tech/internet companies?