What Do Microsoft, Tim Ferriss, Donald Trump and Katy Perry Have In Common?

By Aziz Ali
22 Comments

I know most of us will agree that Microsoft does not make the best products. Competitors with better products have smaller market share and less influence. The operating system market was monopolized by Windows for many years while Linux and Apple had single digit market share. (Of course today it’s different with Apple coming in strong with its Apple OS.)

Now here is the question that pops up in my mind –

How did Microsoft become a giant while producing less impressive products than its competitors?

How did Microsoft dominate many markets ingeniously and remain strong, while its competitors put their heart, soul, sweat and blood into producing better products and not getting any closer to beating this giant?

The answer to my question is one single word: Leverage.

Let me explain by shedding some light on history.

Microsoft recognized early on that the industry was going to shift from hardware focus to software focus. The hardware provided the base processing ability that would improve with time, while the software logic gave infinite capability for a programmer to produce softwares that performed any task the mind desired. At that point in time, Microsoft joint forces with IBM, the industry giant at that time, to provide Operating System software for all of its machines. The second strategic move Microsoft made was to charge IBM a small license fee per unit sold.

Now, if you think about it, Microsoft did a joint venture with IBM, and leveraged their mass distribution and deep market penetration to reach the entire industry while getting paid for it.

This is holy smokes smart!

Not revolutionary, just strategic.

It was not a marketing plan, it was a business strategy. Today, Microsoft is Microsoft not because of some marketing campaigns, but only because of their ability to command the distribution through multiple mediums in multiple markets consistently.

I don’t think that things just worked out for them every time they tried something. They probably had to try ten things to come across this idea. But they were willing to take shot after shot that most of us are not willing to take.

A recap on Microsoft moves:

  1. Recognition of the industry trend before it was apparent to others
  2. Forming a deal with a giant that gave them access to massive distribution

I think you got my point!

As entrepreneurs, we strive to grow our businesses as fast as possible, and in the blur of feverish activity, we loose the ability to look at the bigger picture. We focus on day to day activities and begin to micro-manage projects. Soon the business runs us. Sad.

The reason for this is lack of perspective and business strategy.

If you are somewhat active in the Internet Marketing Courses industry, you know that many gurus have built their business purely through joint venture partnerships. That is through partnering up with multiple businesses that complement or compete with theirs and then cross promoting each other’s products in exchange for a sales commission. Sounds sweet, right? Paying only per sale.

The Timothy Ferriss Strategy

This idea is not limited to the Microsoft or the more familiar Internet Marketing Guru industry. Let me give you a more recent and unconventional example: Timothy Ferriss, the author of two best selling books, “The 4-Hour Workweek”, and “The 4-Hour Body”, openly holds blogging responsible for his mega success.

Now of course Tim had the goods (solid content) in his books, but he built his community and following by appearing in numerous leading blogs throughout the Internet (including Entrepreneurs-Journey.com). He spread his message, one blog at a time and one media outlet at a time, while he attributes his success more to the blog partnerships he did as apposed to any other media outlet.

Donald Trump & Robert Kiyosaki

I know you are convinced already, but how about another unconventional example, Donald Trump. As you know Donald Trump is expanding his business in diverse markets, many of which he is not experienced in.

One example is the “financial awareness industry”. Although Trump has many resources at his disposal to become successful in this market, he decided to partner up with best selling author, Robert Kiyosaki, to co-author the book “Why We Want You to Be Rich”. Trump knows that Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” has been on the best seller list for many years and anyone looking to become financially educated, more than likely knows about Kiyosaki. Co-authoring a book with Kiyosaki is a strong leverage for Trump to penetrate this market in a big way.

Katy Perry

Realize this, it’s unconventional; Katy Perry became enormously famous after her album “Teenage Dream

Her first music video for this album, “California Gurls”, featured Snoop Dogg. Talk about leverage of association. I agree, Snoop Dogg’s appearance was not the only reason for her success, Katy is a talented artist indeed, but there are many other talented artists in the world who do not receive the kind of attention they would like. Snoop Dogg’s appearance in her video is more of a marketing play than a business strategy, but again it’s leverage.

Here Are The Rules

The rules are that there are no rules. There are no clearly defined rules or a secret formula to creating such joint ventures that pay big time and for the long term. At least I don’t know of any yet.

I was having a conversation with Perry Marshall one day and he said “Aziz, I have tried many things in my business, but the Google Adwords stuff

Still when you think of Perry today, Google AdWords comes to mind. This is just to reiterate the point that there is no ONE SECRET FORMULA, therefore stop looking for one. I believe in noticing patterns that appear in multiple business successes and developing my business strategy and marketing plans accordingly.

It is crucial to notice that such partnerships are unconventional, out of the box, and not as common as they should be – since they create massive successes for entrepreneurs. This is good news for the few of us who are literally going to take this message to heart and do something with it. For the vast majority (80% +), this message will serve only as entertainment value and nothing more. Sad, but true.

Aziz Ali

About Aziz Ali

Aziz is an internationally acclaimed marketing whizkid and most commonly called a genius by his fan-base. Always working in the trenches, Aziz knows how to optimize marketing systems to produce exponential results as he did for several billion dollar companies and popular Internet Marketing Gurus.

Aziz is currently giving away two [2] tools & nine [9] strategies that has helped all of his clients find customers online EASILY!
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22 Comments

  • You make some good points, Aziz. I love the way you put together this post and the way it all came together, highlighting the power of partnerships. I’d like to think that in the blogosphere, most of us work rather well together.

    • I think that too… I believe in the saying that two heads are better than one. And it is just amazing to see the outcome of good partnership.

  • Jon

    Leverage is big but so is persistence, each of the people you outlined above have persisted way beyond the point the average person would have given-up.

    Jon
    Founder of WoodMarvels.com

  • Very Interesting post. Enjoy lot and also learn lot from this

    Yes its true that for behind of any big success the strategy works lots and I have also observe it in many cases.

    Anyways I am not aware of this story conceen to microsoft so thanks a lot for sharing such a interesting post related to this and also the business success mantras.

  • Thanks Aziz for this informative article. I never knew that JVs can be so powerful. Team work always works wonders than slogging hard on your own.

  • Tom

    Another great article Aziz! Now that you’ve leveraged readers off of Yaro, when are you going to post a new article at Days to Domination? Love your site – waiting patiently for some new stuff!

  • In making an inferior product which needs constant maintenance in a large networked environment. Microsoft created the need for large IT departments.

    Just like any other entity these IT departments want to live and grow, so they encourage the use of Windows, without which they wouldn’t be needed.

  • Some people just have that drive to succeed no matter what situation thier in. It comes down to being consistent, but i agree that Microsoft do make cheap products that I just can’t stand.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • @Meg: I am a fanatic when it comes to understanding WHY some people make it and some don’t. I have a ton of back stories to tell about many companies besides Microsoft.

    @Ann & @Deepak: Thanks! I love it that you loved my writing efforts.

    @Tom: More articles and Videos on my personal blog DaysToDomination.com/blog coming soon. I am working on multiple projects so its kinda tough.

    @Black SEO Guy: If you really think about it. Bill Gates could have just stopped when his company was doing $100,000 20 years ago. But he didn’t stop (Unlike many people).

    As you said:
    “some people just have that drive to succeed no matter what situation they are in” – BSG

  • Well done.

    This brings to mind a few things …

    On leverage, I like the Hedgehog concept and asking the question, “What can you be the best at in the world?” Playing to your unique strengths is a way to amplify your results, and leverage your unique position.

    On noticing patterns, one of my favorite quotes by Bruce Lee is, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” Bruce Lee’s style, Jeet Kune Do was formless and fluid. By taking the balcony view, we can draw from whatever works, without restricting ourselves. Flexibility is the ultimate freedom, and this metaphor works in life and in business. Our dearly departed Darwin echoes the idea, but with a twist: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change”.

    Agile is the way forward, and when you combine it with your unique strengths within the arena you play in … it’s the sustainable way.

  • Partnership and networking with other businesses is very important for any business especially when it just starting and needs new clients, which is very difficult to get without the help of an established business!

  • That really is fascinating post Aziz. I totally agree though that having a consistent and unique approach to your content is the key to getting people through to your site

  • Aziz – this is an excellent point. Not to long ago a read a book by Simon SInek called Start With Why.

    In his book Simon mentions that the best and most successful businesses and organizations all have a WHY person; those that embody the vision of the organization, energize and lead the company towards the vision, as well as a HOW person; those that create the strategy and deliver to the markets.

    However, for the organization to succeed there can only be one of each. I definitely think this is the same for venture partnerships such as the ones you mentioned above. Specifically with Robert Kiyosaki and DOnald Trump.

    It looks like in this case Robert Kiyosaki would have been the WHY person. He is the one that educates about financial intelligence and increasing you financial IQ. He is the one that has the vision of financial education for everyone. He leads and inspires. Trump on the other harn would the the HOW person, talking about business and so forth.

    I think you get the idea. What do you think about this concept?

  • Collaboration with other industry giants is very ideal for those who want to stay on top of the game. It might be a cliche but it is really a fact that two heads are better than one.

  • Brilliant Aziz! I love this article. You hit the nail right on the head.
    Leveraging other people’s resources (including connections) is extremely powerful. I co-founded my business to help other artists and performers market themselves online. When we were first starting out, our marketing strategy was to find established “centres of influence” who cater to artists and performers, and collaborate with them. We dramatically increased the traffic to our site when we were given permission to blog on an artist organization site that gets 5000-10000 hits a month. I’ve also experienced the benefits of leveraging with my own singing/performing career. That’s my testimonial :) Thanks again!

  • Nice way to connect 3 seemingly unrelated professionals.

    Yip, it’s all about leverage, it’s what Robert Kiyosaki keeps hammering on about in all of his books.

    Nice article.

    – Rory

  • Entrepeneurs that succeed has one thing in common, that is the ability to think different than others. We can see the same thing now with Google, FB (and GroupOn for that matter). And to have the stamina to stay in the game long enough to get their planes above the clouds.

    Great article!

  • WOG

    What I really hate about microsoft is that it can be easily attacked by viruses, as compared to apple mac, but mac computers are very expensive and its OS is not available in other computer brands :(

  • Hi Aziz,

    Top tips there!, I was watching Wall Street the other day and they talk about “Leverage”. It makes it so much easier to get momentum with it!…

    All the best,

    David Edwards

  • This is definitely not just an entertainment, Aziz! This is pure advice and learning which we can all benefit from. :) I also know some companies which buy their competitors to stay on top. I think that’s another brilliant idea.

  • Wow I never really looked at it that way. And Katey Perry that was a smart move. The Gorillaz have done such as well in the music industry by teaming up with Snoop, Lou Reed, and many other various popular artist that span the range of time. Puts an added spin on the album and will attract not only the bands supporters but the other artist as well. Its almost like networking threw the time of Music to get a larger fan base. Very smart.

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