John Barry – Broke Virtually Every Business Rule Except Having a Great Product

The LA Times today ran the obituary of John Barry, no, not the composer, this John Barry did something much more important. He invented a product that it turns out had many, many uses beyond it’s original stated use for “water displacement.”  The product was originally named to reflect it’s utility “Water Displacement-40,” but was soon shortened to WD-40.

The obituary is full of quotes from Mr. Barry about business that apply to any industry. Some of my favorites:

  • “When you have a good product, don’t tinker with it.”
  • “Competitors can’t shoot you off the fence if they can’t get you in their sights;”
  • “Don’t be like a blind dog in a meat house,’ – stay focused on your goal and your customers
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