David Senra

October 30, 2023

Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success


My top 10 highlights from the book:

1. No carrier knows its niche as well as Southwest.

2. While other carriers have been lured by the temptation to step outside their niche, Southwest has maintained the discipline to stay focused on its fundamental reason for being.

3. Southwest is obsessed with keeping costs low to maximize profitability instead of being concerned with increasing market share.

4. When we look back at the last twenty years, it is obvious that a number of large companies were so set in their ways that they did not adapt properly and lost out as a result. Twenty years from now, we’ll look back and see the same pattern. —Bill Gates

5. Life is too short and too hard and too serious not to be humorous about it.

6. The meticulous nit-picking that goes on in most strategic planning process creates a mental straight jacket that becomes disabling in an industry where things change radically from one day to the next.

7. Southwest’s innovations were not the outcome of  sophisticated planning; they were the result of trial and error.

8. Success must be earned over and over again, or it disappears.

9. Reality is chaotic; planning is ordered and logical. The two don’t square with one another.

10. A company is never more vulnerable to complacency than when it’s at the height of its success.

Listen to the episode I made on this book: #322 Herb Kelleher 

About David Senra

Learn from history's greatest founders. Every week I read a biography of an entrepreneur and tell you what I learned on Founders podcast