Patagonia | A Role Model That’s Built to Last

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If you’re a Jim Collins’ fan, maybe you got the “built to last” reference.  He’s featured in the April 2009 issue of Inc. magazine, and as always, has some great insights.  Like his observation that about every 20-30 years there is a major development in the evolution of business that we become aware of only in retrospect.

Here’s his major observations on the last 100 years or so–

  1. Around the turn of the last century, business corporations emerge as the building block of modern society.  Sounds obvious enough, right?  Yes– but how many people living in that moment recognized the revolution that was unfolding right in front of them?
  2. From the 1920s to ’40s, management emerged as the fundamental function and discipline in society. We were becoming a society in which management would be one of the central, important professions– like practicing medicine or law.
  3. After WWII comes another big development: work can be broken down into segments and reassembled in ways dramatically increasing both performance and humanity.
  4. During the 1980s, the idea of the entrepreneur shifts from “those crazy, creative people” to a profession, as people start to realize that it’s not about temperament or personality, but about action. We embrace the idea that entrepreneurship is actually a systematic, replicable process.

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By this point you’re no doubt wondering– what does any of this have to do with Patagonia, you nerd?

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