Arnold Hiatt was visiting Hong Kong in 1990 when he noticed a child wearing an unusual shoe. It closed with Velcro and had a loop on the back, allowing the child to pull it on easily.
Within months, Hiatt’s Massachusetts company, Stride Rite, produced a similar model. It caught on like wildfire.
Such a shoe had never been seen in the United States; now its features are standard on casual shoes.
Lesson: Watch and listen.
“When you’re constantly listening and observing,” Hiatt said, “you develop an acuity that becomes a reflex. You’re not relying on your intuition but making as many decisions as you can based on reality rather than subjectivity.”
— Adapted from “Arnold Hiatt Put a Swagger Into Stride Rite’s Step,” Marilyn Much, Investor’s Business Daily.