Money is he least differentiated, least tradeable asset a business has. Focus on it, and you forget to pay attention to what the exchange is – what you trade. That's what is worth paying attention to and constantly remembering.
It's natural to want to explain the success of modern businesses by mapping them to accepted theories to extrapolate trends from it: Can you really see what's next? In a recent post on Reuters, Christensen himself answers a question he has been wrestling with for a long time:
Why was it that the best run companies in the world — companies that have had incredibly smart leaders, following carefully detailed plans and with tremendous execution ability — reliably seem to come unstuck? The answer to this question is what has become known as the theory of disruption.
His answer is that the pursuit of profit at all costs drives organizations to forget disruption. In the article, Christensen cites Apple as an example of a company that did not have profit motive at its core [h/t Greg Sterling] and that therefore continues to pursue tech disruption.
Regardless of whether Jobs had a higher purpose, which while important doesn't explain Apple's success by itself, as is often the case with shorter pieces, the commentary highlights a conclusion that is logical and evident to those who have spent equal time thinking about how businesses trade their asset.
In fact, it is easier to see the root cause of Apple's success when you see Job's mission is to make the business stronger, more resilient, and enduring. While every other organization in the same sector was busy copying each other benchmarking, Jobs guided Apple through some hard thinking.
That process helped see what a good promise is vs. a bad one – the products a result of the strength of the promise. It is how you trade promises, how you keep them that makes a difference. Profit is an outcome, sure.
The focus though should be on the promise.