This week we were extremely lucky to have Jack Cassidy as our speaker. His charisma and boldness were enlivening. He’s had multiple executive positions and is a board member for several companies. Most noteworthy, at Cincinnati bell, he turned around the multi-billion dollar company that was on the brink of annihilation and bankruptcy into a very profitable business. Throughout the night, he boiled business down to its basics and redefined some misconceived notions. Here are some of the important definitions he shared with us:
1. The purpose of capitalism is to get a return on your investment
2. The purpose of business is to make a profit
3. You create profit by attracting and retaining profitable customers
He went on to define the typical American consumer, stating that there are 2 things we value more than anything on the planet:
- Convenience (time)
- Entertainment (rather than work)
Cassidy points out that, in America, people have more money than they do time. Which means, they are always in a hurry to be entertained. If you can capitalize in one of these two areas, you can have a successful business in America.
Although, he points out that it is still extremely difficult to start a business of your own and he’s proud that students, like those at the BBC, believe in taking charge, leading, and being responsible for their own success, or failure. Chances are good that there are already companies going after your same target market. He says, “To get into a market you have to innovate, to innovate, you must seek diversity of thought. If you don’t surround yourself by people who disagree with you, and find ways to agree, you can’t innovate.”
He ended the discussion by saying, “In business, it’s okay to make a profit, it’s the purpose, but you have a moral responsibility to the world to share the profit.”
We had a fantastic time listening to him, if you want to hear more, check out his book.