Competitive intelligence without calling it CI

September 16, 2014

The current (Sept. 22, 2014) issue of Fortune includes a profile of Howard Ruby, the founder of Oakwood Worldwide, which generates $600 million per year in revenues[1].

Ruby started this business in 1960, and age 79, is still CEO. He actually started in business at age 5 with a lemonade stand (no joke). His career in real estate involved reinvention over the decades, starting with building furnished apartments for singles and eventually morphing into corporate housing, a lodging category which the article credits him with inventing.

The first piece of advice he offers to other entrepreneurs and business persons is

Have four eyes that go around your head. Look out for the competition at every turn and observe what’s happening around you. You have to be mindful of changes and where the markets are heading.”

Straight, direct and correct. And what makes this even more powerful is that Ruby is still working, which means he is maintain his business vision, including a focus on competitors, while gradually losing his own vision to retinitis pigmentosa.

[1] Dinah Eng (interviewer), “The Father of Corporate Housing”, Fortune, September 22, 2014, pp. 29-32.


One Comment on “Competitive intelligence without calling it CI”

  1. […] The current (Sept. 22, 2014) issue of Fortune includes a profile of Howard Ruby, the founder of Oakwood Worldwide, which generates $600 million per year in revenues. The first piece of advice he offers to other entrepreneurs and business persons is “Have four eyes that go around your head. Look out for the competition at every turn and observe what’s happening around you. You have to be mindful of changes and where the markets are heading."  […]


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