Notes – Customer CEO: How to Profit from the Power of Your Customers


The customer comments throughout this book are based on surveys, focus groups and interviews my firm has conducted. Much of the other material is based on my own business experience.

Chapter 1

1. Reed Hastings, “In Wyoming . . . ,” Reed Hastings’ Facebook page, September 20, 2011,

2. Lauren Effron, “Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Says Company Has ‘Sincere Regret’ Over Handling of Service Changes,” ABC News, September 26, 2011, accessed September 03, 2012,

3. “Henry Ford, Faster Horses and Market Research,” Research Arts, January 25, 2011,

4. Bo Burlingham and George Gendron, “The Entrepreneur of the Decade,”, accessed September 03, 2012,

5. Garsen O’Toole, “My Customers Would Have Asked for a Faster Horse,” Quote Investigator, July 28, 2011,

6. Ian Sherr, “Apple’s Secrets Revealed at Trial,” Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2012,

7. John Seabrook, “How to Make It,” New Yorker, September 20, 2010, 66-73.

8. Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., Rules to Break and Laws to Follow, (New York: John Wiley, 2008) 24.

9. David F. Wallace, “2005 Kenyon College Commencement Address” (speech given at commencement, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio), May 25, 2005.

Chapter 2

1. “Sam Walton,”, October 9, 2008,

2. Noah Plaue, “How the Average American Has Changed Since the 1960s,” Business Insider, July 7, 2012,

3. Jeanne Sahadi, “Why Nearly Half of Us Don’t Pay Income Tax,” CNNMoney, April 26, 2012,

4. “57% Say Housing Prices Will Take More Than Another Three Years to Recover” Rasmussen Reports, June 19, 2012,

5. Kristen Purcell, Joanna Brenner, and Lee Rainie. Search Engine Use 2012 (report), March 9, 2012,∼/media/Files/Reports/2012/PIP_Search_Engine_Use_2012.pdf.

6. The Virtuous Circle: The Role of Search and Social Media in the Purchase Pathway (report), February 2011,

7. 15th Annual Global CEO Survey (report), 2012,

8. 2011 R&D/Innovation and Product Development Priorities Survey (report), 2011,$File/2011GlobalR&%20InnovationSurveyReport.pdf.

9. 2012 Global CEO Study (report), IBM, 2012,


11. John Zogby, “The CENGA Generation and 2012,” John Zogby (blog), June 18, 2012,


13. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. “600,000 Apps in Apple’s App Store, Yet I Can’t Find Anything I Want,” ZDNet, April 6, 2012,

14. Clayton M.Christensen, Scott D. Anthony, and Erik A. Roth, Seeing What’s Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2004), 101.

15. Machiavelli, Niccolò, Quentin Skinner, and Russell Price. Machiavelli: The Prince (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988),

Chapter 3

1. Kevin V. Johnson, “Chronicles Got Everything Started.” USA Today, May 14, 1998.

2. Brian Lowry, “‘Seinfeld,’ a Cinderella Story That Went From Fable to Legend,” Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2001,

3. Larry David, “The Couch,” Seinfeld, NBC, October 27, 1994.

4. “About IKEA,” Our Business Idea,

5. “IKEA Statistics,” Statistic Brain, May 26, 2012,

6. John Simmons, “IKEA—Brand of the Many,” The Guardian, June 12, 2005,

7. Pandora Internet Radio, accessed July 2012,

8. Laura Green, “How Tim Westergren Dials in Approval from Pandora’s Customers and Employees to Drive Growth,” Smart Business, February 1, 2012,

9. Snapshots, “Tim Westergren: Future of Pandora Radio,” Tim Westergren: Pandora Interview, accessed July 2012,

10. Ibid.

11. Mike Gathright, “Leadership Perspective: Obsess Over Customers,” Baylor Business Review, March 29, 2012,

12. George Anders, “Inside Amazon’s Idea Machine: How Bezos Decodes the Customer,” Forbes, April 04, 2012,

13. “Amazon 2012 Annual Report,”, 2012,

14. “Amazon Media Room,”, accessed September 10, 2012,

15. Anders, “Inside Amazon’s Idea Machine.”

16. Brad Tuttle, “Apple, L.L.Bean—and Especially, Amazon—Score Big in Online Shopping Satisfaction,”, May 14, 2012,

17. Barney Jopson, “Amazon ‘robo-pricing’ Sparks Fears,” Financial Times, July 8, 2012,

18. Kevin Freiberg and Jackie Freiberg, Nuts!: Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success (New York: Broadway Books, 1998), 250.

19. Stuart Elliott, “A Spate of Ads Gives Vent to That Howard Beale Feeling,” The New York Times, June 26, 2008,

20. Freiberg and Freiberg, Nuts!

21. 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer (report), 2011,

Chapter 4

1. David Lee Roth, Crazy from the Heat (London: Ebury, 2000), 12.

2. Tim Donnelly, “How to Sell on Value Rather than Price,”, July 20, 2011,

3. Penn Jillette, and Teller, “The Truth about Bottled Water,” Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, July 3, 2007.

4. W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2005), 120–25.

5. Bob Greene, “Will ‘Showrooming’ Kill Businesses,”, June 17, 2012,

6. Ann Zimmerman, “Can Retailers Halt Showrooming,” Wall Street Journal, April 11, 2012,

7. Aaron Smith, The Rise of In-Store Mobile Commerce (report), January 30, 2012,

8. George Anderson, “Nordstrom Delivers with Free In-Store Shipping,”, March 13, 2012,

9. Marisa Taylor, “Target Tried to Fight Off Online Retailers,” NBC News, January 24, 2012,

10. Warren Buffet, 2008 Berkshire Hathaway Investor Letter, 2008,

11. Becky Quick, “Car Salesmen: Still Sexist, Still Stupid,” CNNMoney, February 28, 2012,

12. Ibid.

13. “Hyundai’s Value Touted as Rival Car Dealers Seek Models.” Las Vegas Review-Journal, June 1, 2012,

14. Hannah Elliott, “Year of the Hyundai,” Forbes, June 23, 2009,

15. Heather Kluter and Doug Mottram, “Touch the Market,” PDMA Visions, June 2007, 15–19.

16. Ibid

17. Hyundai Motor America corporate website, accessed September 10, 2012,

18. Melanie Warner, “How Hyundai Is Gaining Market Share,” CBSNews, June 05, 2009,

19. Landon Wood, telephone interview with author, July 5, 2012.

20. Lab Armor corporate website,

21. Steven Greenhouse, “How Costco Became the Anti-Walmart,” The New York Times, July 17, 2005,

22. Michael Beyman, “No-Frills Retail Revolutions Leads to Costco Wholesale Shopping Craze,” CNBC, April 25, 2012,

23. Greenhouse, “How Costco Became the Anti-Walmart.”

24. “Ryanair Stewardess Falls from Aircraft,” I Hate Ryanair (blog), May 8, 2012,

25. “Hostess Plummets from Ryanair Plane in Sweden,” The Local, May 8, 2012,

26. Ryan Air corporate website, accessed May 8, 2012, Sarah Lyall, “No Apologies From the Boss of a No-Frills Airline,” The New York Times, August 1, 2009,

27. Ray Massey, “Ryanair to Sell Standing Room Only Tickets for £4. Funded by Charging Passengers to Use the Toilet,” Daily Mail, July 1, 2012,–funded-charging-passengers-use-toilet.html.

28. David P. Brown, “Standing Seats Are NOT Coming to a Ryanair Plane Near You,” Airline Reporter, July 6, 2012,

Chapter 5

1. “Criteria for Performance Excellence,” National Institute of Standards and Technology, February 17, 2010,

3. Oliver Burkeman, “Happiness is a glass half empty,” Dina Bass, “Microsoft Is Said to Stop Releasing New Models of the Zune,” Bloomberg, March 14, 2011,

4. Ji Hoon Jhang, Susan Jung Grant, and Margaret C. Campbell, “Get It? Got It. Good! Enhancing New Product Acceptance by Facilitating Resolution of Extreme Incongruity,” University of Colorado Leeds Business School, October 2012,

5. Damien Scott, “The 50 Worst Fails in Tech History,”, April 29, 2011,

6. William Buxton, Sketching User Experience: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design (San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann, 2007), 9.

7. Ibid.

8. John T. Gourville, “Eagle Sellers and Stony Buyers: Understanding the Psychology of New-Product Adoption,” Harvard Business Review 11, no. 6 (June 2006): 99–106.

9. Janet Pogue, “Tear Down This Wall,” Employee Benefit News, March 1, 2009,

10. “Apple Stores Have Seventeen Times Better Performance Than the Average Retailer,” Asymco company website, April 18, 2012,

11. Allen Adamson, “Ron Johnson on Lessons Learned from Apple About Gaining an Edge As a Retail Brand,” Forbes, July 19, 2012,

12. “Apple Stores Have Seventeen Times Better Performance Than the Average Retailer,” Asymco company website.

13. David Morgenstern, “Recalling a Summer When Steve Jobs Saved Apple and the Mac,” ZDNet, October 6, 2011,

14. Horace Dediu, “How Much Does an Apple Store Cost?” Asymco company website, October 14, 2011,

15. “Construction Cost Estimating,” Reed Construction Data, accessed May 5, 2012,

16. Carl Sewell and Paul B. Brown, Customers for Life: How to Turn That Onetime Buyer into a Lifetime Customer (New York: Doubleday, 2002), 141.

17. Zeke MacCormack, “Wait Is over for Fans of Buc-ee’s, Its Restrooms,” San Antonio Express-News , May 8, 2012,

18. Katie McFadden, “Best Western Using High-Tech Cleaning Techniques,” Travelers Today, March 30, 2012,

19. Barbara DeLollis, “CSI Hotel Room: Best Western Goes High-tech to Clean,”, May 31, 2012,

20. Tim Carmody, “Expressing Technology: A Roundtable with Sir James Dyson,”, September 17, 2011,

21. John Seabrook, “How to Make It,” New Yorker, September 20, 2010, 66–73.

22. Beth Carney, “Dyson’s Magic Carpet Ride,” Businessweek, March 31, 2005,

23. Susie Mesure, “James Dyson: He Sweeps As He Cleans As He Spins. What’s Next from the Ideas Factory?” The Independent, May 27, 2006,

24. Bill Breen, “The Business of Design,” Fast Company, April 1, 2005.

25. Robert Brunner and Stewart Emery, Do You Matter?: How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company (Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press, 2009), 46.

Chapter 6

1. Tim Engle, “Ex-Trader Joe’s Employee Writes a Mostly Complimentary Tell-All,” The Kansas City Star, June 30, 2012,

2. Beth Kowitt, “Inside Trader Joe’s,” Fortune, September 6, 2010, 86–92.

3. Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (New York: Ecco, 2004), 9–12.

4. “The Tyranny of Choice: You Choose,” The Economist, December 16, 2010,

5. Kowitt, “Inside Trader Joe’s.”

6. Christopher Palmeri, “Trader Joe’s Recipe for Success,” Businessweek, February 20, 2008,

7. Jena McGregor, “Leading Listener: Trader Joe’s,” Fast Company, October 1, 2004,

8. Gitte Larsen, “Why Megatrends Matter,” Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, May 2006,

9. “Our Foundations,” Jyske Bank corporate website, accessed April 15, 2012,

10. “This Danish Branch Is Beyond Cool,” The Financial Brand, October 29, 2008,

11. Dana Mattioli, “Lululemon’s Secret Sauce,” The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2012,

12. “Looking Good in Tights and Unafraid to Be Rich and Powerful,” The Gazette,, August 12, 2008,

13. Mattioli, “Lululemon’s Secret Sauce.”

Chapter 7

1. Charles Mingus, interview, Mainliner Magazine, July 1977.

2. Henry Petroski, Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996) 78–79.

3. Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman, The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm (New York: Currency/Doubleday, 2000), 28.

4. Matthew E. May, In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing (New York: Broadway Books, 2009), 12.

5. Patrick Spenner and Karen Freeman, “To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple,” Harvard Business Review, May 2012,

6. “The 2012 NRN Top 200,” Nation’s Restaurant News, June 25, 2012,

7. In-N-Out Burger corporate website,, accessed September 10, 2012.

8. Stacy Perman, In-N-Out Burger: A Behind the Counter Look at The Fast-Food Chain that Breaks All the Rules (New York, NY: Collins Business, 2010), 7.

9. Perman, In-N-Out Burger, 139.

10. Dan Macsai, “The Sizzling Secrets of In-N-Out Burger: Q&A With Stacy Perman,”

Fast Company, April 23, 2009,

11. Blake W. Gray, “The Story behind the Story That Made Wine History,” SFGate, June 16, 2005,

12. W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant (Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2005), 31–35.

13. “Orders Are Stacking Up,” The Paul Merage School of Business Dean’s Quarterly, Spring 2012,

14. Conor Friedersdorf, “A New Way to Drink Wine: Trading in the Bottle for the Four-Pack Stack,” The Atlantic, April 2012,

15. “Dr Oz: Stacked Wines, Mastrad Apple Cooker & Magisso Cake Server,” Dr. Oz Fans (blog), April 18, 2012,

16. MP Dunleavy, “Did ‘Sex and the City’ Ruin You Too”” MSN Money, June 20, 2012,

17. “Shoe Stores,” Hoovers, accessed April 14, 2012,

18. Global Footwear Manufacturing Report, IBISWorld, 2010,

19. Rob Merlino, “Onesole Dominique Barteet Interview,” Shark Tank Blog, June 7, 2012,

Chapter 8

1. Stanley Marcus, Quest for the Best (New York: Viking Press, 1979), 44.

2. Ibid.

3. Miracle on 34th Street, film, directed by George Seaton, 20th Century Fox, 1947, DVD.

4. David K. Randall, “Only the Store Is Gone,” The New York Times, February 19, 2006,

5. Jan Carlzon, “What Business Leaders Can Learn From ‘Moments of Truth’: An Interview With Former SAS CEO Jan Carlzon,” interview by Bob Thompson, Customer Think, January 11, 2006,

6. Robyn C., “Discount Tire, Austin, TX,” review on Yelp, March 31, 2012,

7. Max Jarman, “After 50 Years, Service Still Drives Discount Tires,” AZ Central, January 2, 2011,

8. Jarman, “After 50 Years, Service Still Drives Discount Tires.”

9. Tire Industry ‘Legends’ Publication no. 35167310, 13th ed. Vol. 26, Tire Business, 2008.

10. Ibid.

11. Michael Rosenbaum, “The Synergy Mirage: A Case Study,” Chief Executive, February 17, 2012,

12. “Our ‘raison D’être,’” Chateauform' company website, accessed December 12, 2011,

13. Ibid.

14. Marion Debruyne, “The Devil Is in the Detail: Learnings on How to Be a Customer-Focused Organization by Chateauform,” Marketing Blog Vlerick, July 23, 2012,

15. “Benjamin Holt,” Invent Now: Hall of Fame, accessed September 10, 2012,

16. Larry Mills, interview with author, July 17, 2012.

17. Dave Harris, interview by author, July 17, 2012.

18. Ibid.

19. Edward Craner, interview by author, July 17, 2012.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.

22. Harris interview.

Chapter 9

1. “Waldorf Salad,” Fawlty Towers, BBC, March 5, 1979.

2. Craig Timberg, “Refugee from Facebook Questions the Social Media Life,” The Washington Post, August 06, 2012,

3. Tyler Thompson, “Redesigning the Boarding Pass—Journal—Boarding Pass/Fail,” December 2009,

4. Dave Carroll, “United Breaks Guitars,” performed by Dave Carroll and the Sons of Maxwell,, July 6, 2009,

5. Matt Fisher, “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer in Court,” Premium Fisher (blog), August 13, 2012,

6. Jay Baer and Amber Naslund, The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2011), xii.

7. Shelly Banjo, “Firms Take Online Reviews to Heart,” The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2012.

8. “What Is Big Data?—Bringing Big Data to the Enterprise,” IBM corporate website, accessed March 4, 2012,

9. “TMT Predictions 2012, Billions and Billions: Big Data Becomes a Big Deal,” Deloitte Consulting, January 17, 2012,

10. Paul Pellman, interview by author, June 15, 2012.

11. Doc Searls, The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge (Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press, 2012), 11.

12. Steve Patti, interview by author, August 8, 2012.

13. Peter Shankman, “The Greatest Customer Service Story Ever Told, Starring Morton’s Steakhouse,”, August 17, 2011,

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid.

16. Quirky | Social Product Development, accessed July 10, 2012,

17. Jennifer Wang, “Quirky: The Solution to the Innovator’s Dilemma,” Entrepreneur, July 26, 2011,

18. Frank T. Piller, “Ten Reasons Why I Consider As Best in Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation,” Mass Customization & Open Innovation News, October 14, 2010.

19. Fiona Blades, online interview by author, August 22, 2012.

20. Emma K. Macdonald, Hugh N. Wilson, and Umut Konus, “Better Customer Insight—in Real Time,” Harvard Business Review 90, no. 9 (September 2012): 103–108.

Chapter 10

1. Sheila Marikar, “American Airlines Fights Back After Alec Baldwin’s Twitter Rant,” ABC News, December 7, 2011,

2. Jason Hunter, telephone interview by author, August 11, 2011.

3. Steven Ellis, “Is André Rieu Bigger Than the Rolling Stones?” The Austrailian, November 1, 2008,

4. Mark Sutherland, “André Rieu Q&A,” Billboard, May 7, 2010,é-rieu-the-billboard-q-a-1004089453.story#/features/andré-rieu-the-billboard-q-a-1004089453.story.

5. Chrissey Iley, “André Rieu Interview,” The Telegraph, March 30, 2011,

6. Ellis, “Is André Rieu Bigger Than the Rolling Stones?”

7. “2011 The Year in Music,” Billboard, January 2012, http:/

8. Pamela S. Leven, “Market Researchers Test Drive Products in Focus Groups, Where Honesty Is of Consuming Interest,” TWA Ambassador, May 1998.

9. Brandon Gutman, “How Dos Equis Uses Facebook to Keep Its Man Interesting to Consumers,” Forbes, February 9, 2012,

10. “Case Study Series: Dos Equis—A Triumph for Creative,” Bhatnaturally, July 24, 2009, accessed September 10, 2012,

11. “Introducing Dos Equis.” Accessed September 5, 2012.

12. EJ Schultz, “The Story Behind Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World,” Creativity Online, March 5, 2012,

13. Ibid.

14. Jeremy Mullman, “Dos Equis’ ‘Most Interesting Man’ Is an Even Greater Beer Salesman, Euro’s Gray-Bearded Creation for Heineken USA Import Has Led to Double-Digit Gains in Declining Category,” Ad Age, July 15, 2009,

15. Chris Furnari, “The Hispanic Beer Equation,” BevNET, July/August 2012, accessed August 3, 2012,

16. Clementine Fletcher, “Heineken Enlists Dos Equis to Win Back U.S. Drinkers: Retail,” Business Week, December 20, 2011,

17. Mullman, “Dos Equis’ ‘Most Interesting Man’ Is an Even Greater Beer Salesman, Euro’s Gray-Bearded Creation for Heineken USA Import Has Led to Double-Digit Gains in Declining Category,”

18. Dos Equis, The Most Interesting Man in The World, Facebook page, accessed September 7, 2012,

19. “The Most Interesting Academy,” Dos Equis company website, accessed August 4, 2012,

20. “Top Ten Fastest Growing Retailers, 2011,” Forbes, April 4, 2011, accessed August 29, 2012.

21. “Buffalo Wild Wings Investor Presentation, August 2012,” Buffalo Wild Wings company website, accessed September 8, 2012,

22. Elizabeth Olson, “Restaurants Reach Out to Customers with Social Media,” The New York Times, January 19, 2011,

23. Buffalo Wild Wings Facebook page, accessed September 7, 2012,

24. Anton Gonsalves, “Kentucky Manufacturer Big Ass Fans Turns a Commodity into a Brand,” Bloomberg, June 8, 2011,

25. Jennifer Rooney, “Big Ass Fans Keeps Its Cool as It Moves Into Consumer Market,” Ad Age, December 13, 2010,

26. Gonsalves, “Kentucky Manufacturer Big Ass Fans Turns a Commodity into a Brand.”

27. Scott Sloan, “For Big Ass Fans CEO, Going against Grain Comes Naturally,”, June 3, 2012,

Chapter 11

1. John Mackey, “Conscious Capitalism: Creating a New Paradigm for Business,” Whole Foods website, November 9, 2006,

2. John Paul DeJoria, “Paul Mitchell Co-Founder on Europe’s Economic Crisis,” interview by Neil Cavuto, Cavuto, FOX Business News, June 19, 2012,

3. Simon Mainwaring, We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 47–48.

4. “Big Think Interview with Tony Hsieh: A Conversation with the CEO of Zappos,” Big Think, October 11, 2010.

5. Mark Grurman, “Tim Cook Tells Apple Employees That Today’s Victory Is About Values,” 9to5Mac, August 24, 2012,

6. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, directed by John Huston, Los Angeles, CA: Warner Bros. Pictures, 1948, DVD.

7. TOMS Corporate Video, TOMS company website, accessed June 2008,

8. TOMS Shoes & Eyewear Company, accessed June 2012,

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. Toms Corporate Video, TOMS company website, accessed June 2008,

14. John R. Blackwell, “Luck Companies Brings Leadership Style to Region and Beyond,” Work It, Richmond, April 15, 2012,

15. Ibid.

16. Harry M. Jansen Kramer Jr., “The Only True Leadership Is Values-Based Leadership,” Forbes, April 26, 2011,

17. Blackwell, “Luck Companies Brings Leadership Style to Region and Beyond.”

18. Luck Companies website, accessed August 29, 2012,

19. Ibid.

20. “Don’t Buy This Jacket,” Patagonia e-mail, November 28, 2011,

21. Yvon Chouinard and Nora Gallagher, “Don’t Buy This Shirt Unless You Need It,” Patagonia company website, Summer 2004,

22. Seth Stevenson, “Patagonia’s Founder Is America’s Most Unlikely Business Guru,” The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2012,

23. Ibid.

24. Yvon Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman (New York: Penguin Press, 2005), 21.

25. Monte Burke, “Wal-Mart, Patagonia Team to Green Business,” Forbes, June 5, 2012,

Chapter 12

1. Apple, “Think Different,” advertisement, August 1997.

2. Daniel H. Pink, A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age (New York: Riverhead Books, 2005), 32.

3. Ibid.

4. Dr. Richard Lee, telephone interview by author, September 14, 2012.