Success Built to Last

What makes people and their organizations built to last enduring success for decades? This project found the answer.

Case Studies: Academia

Authors Seek to Define a Formula for “Success”

The Stanford-based team that wrote the world-renown book for business, “Success Built to Last”, conducted a ten year research project of people who had achieved success in their fields for 20 years or more. The team discovered that the traditional definition of success, namely money, fame, and power no longer accurately describes how high achievers maintain success for decades.

IdeaMap Reveals Key Principles of Successful People

Then the team leveraged IdeaMap.Net to test whether key principles found among enduringly successful respondents transcends to a larger population set across the world.  They launched the survey in the Spring of 2006 among readers of “Knowledge@Wharton,” an online publication circulated to senior and mid-level managers, educators and other professionals in 100 countries and collected more than 350 responses within the first week. 

Survey results confirmed the new underlying principles of success the team had been developing with the following common attributes among respondents:

  1. Successful people do not rely on the approval of others to pursue their cause or calling.
  2. They have the audacity to take the initiative despite social pressures rather than because of them.
  3. They are more emotionally committed to doing what they love than being loved by others.
  4. They do not wallow or obsess on a single defeat or rely on finding scapegoats or blame when things go wrong, but instead relentlessly place highest priority on being effective in getting the outcomes they are seeking.

Most important, the team identified three essential behavioral segments that manifested these attributes in different ways:

  1. Meaningful: 44% of the population identify strongest with “making a difference”  and setting big goals to achieve that.
  2. “Thought Style”: 29% of the population follow their passions and strive for the right balance
  3. “Action Style: 27% of the population loves achieving goals and loving their work.

The study yielded actionable strategies for executives and organizations to assess and optimize their performance and skills around these three simple dimensions (details at  The IdeaMap.Net proprietary attitudinal segmentation program also quantitatively validated the intuitive subgroups which were expected to emerge from the survey.  These findings were published in the “Success Built to Last” (2006).

More Resources From Dr. Howard Moskowitz

Academic Studies

Synopsis:We investigated three measures of concept performance for two types of systematically varied concepts, doing so for two products (functional beverage, indulgent beverage). The rating measures were liking, purchase intent, and the selection of an appropriate emotion. Each measure generated utility values for the test elements in the concepts.

Utilities for liking and purchase intent correlated highly for the functional beverage. Utilities for liking and purchase intent did not correlate at all for the indulgent beverage. Liking and purchase intent may operate differently. In terms of emotions, the indulgent beverage generates more emotional reactions across elements and deeper amounts of emotion than does the functional beverage. These results suggest that liking and purchase intent depend upon the particular stimulus being evaluated, and may need to become joint evaluative criteria, not just mutual substitutes. For wide-scale, feasible emotion research, we have selected an initial set of emotions that can be further reduced, to be both parsimonious yet sufficient.

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Between Design and Science: Value-measurement of the sensory experience in hotels, and beyond

Scent branding is also an interesting development. The power of scent is its uncanny ability to forge strong emotional connections and identities. Of all our senses, our sense of smell is the only one hard-wired to the emotional center of the brain. Branding agencies are realizing the potential of scent in the development of sensory identity systems but they need to partner with fragrance houses in order to creative unique emotional signatures. Right now very few branding/advertising agencies have the necessary knowledge and expertise (art and science) in scents.
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Extending Psychophysics Methods to Evaluating Potential Social Anxiety Factors

The paper addresses the question of how to create a database of the citizen’s mind about anxiety-provoking situations in the face of terrorism. The approach is grounded in a combination of experimental design, psychophysics (a branch of psychology), and consumer research. The theoretical foundation is illustrated with a set of 15 empirical studies using conjoint analysis in order to understand how consumers respond to anxiety-provoking situations. The approach identifies the mindset towards terrorism at the individual respondent level.
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Optimizing the Language of E-Mail Survey Invitations

Respondent cooperation has always been an issue of importance to the market research industry. One consequence is that over time a number of initiatives have addressed the issue. This paper deals with the issue of optimizing the invitation to participate as if it were a consumer product or service. Using experimental design, the paper shows how to identify different phrases that generate high versus low respondent intentions to participate. Three segments or mind-sets of respondents emerged in the population. A validation step with a completely different panel showed the possibility of increasing the proportion of respondents participating through the use of better-worded, more motivating invitations.
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