Fashionable Watches

Jean-Claude Biver’s Top 10 Rules For Success

Jean-Claude Biver’s Top 10 Rules For Success


– Luck is a process where you move to luck and you take luck, and you say, “Come on, luck, I keep you now.” So when you are free
man, when you have love, when you have health, you
are again in paradise. – He’s the CEO of a
Swiss luxury watchmaker. He was previously
successful in rejuvenating the Blancpain and Omega brands, which are currently owned by Swatch. His leadership in the Swiss watch industry has single handedly been credited as saving the industry
from the quartz movement. He’s Jean-Claude Biver and here’s my take on his top 10 rules of success. Rule number eight is my personal favorite, and I’d like to know which
one you guys like the best. And as always, guys, as
you’re watching the videos, if you hear something that
really resonates with you, please leave it down in the comments below and put quotes around it so other people can be inspired as well. Also, as you are writing something down, it’s much more likely to
stick in your head too. Enjoy. (epic music) – Love gives an energy. With love, you go to the Everest. If you don’t have love, which
means passion for the business passion is love, if
you don’t have passion, things are difficult to
achieve in life except normal. Without passion, you are in the normality, you are like everybody,
you are like a dead fish in the road, that fish in the
road swims with the current. And in the direction of the
current and in the speed of the current, a fish that
is alive goes left, right, against the current or with the current, so without passion, you are dead fish. If I tell you that we have 75 screws and that each time the watchmaker
is finished going screw and screw, then he should,
during 1/10th of a second, when he’s finished, I love my
job, then he goes next screw. I love this job, the next
one, I love the customer who’s going to wear it, I love perfection, if 75 times he’s going
to say I love my job, I love my customer, I love
my boss, I love my kids, I love my wife, he will
leave 75 traces of love in the watch and when
he shuts down the case, the movement is inside, the
75 traces of love are there. The universe of passion
is open to everybody, but many people don’t
know, they believe passion should come down from the
sky, no, you go to find your passion, passion
will not come to you. Is like luck, luck cannot come to you, you can buy as many lotto
things, you can make bets on Barcelona and Madrid,
luck will never come to you but you go to luck,
that’s much more secure, you go and go to take
luck, if you are in a state luck comes down to you,
forget, you will die and no luck will have ever
come, luck is a process where you move to luck and you take luck and you say, come on, luck, I keep you now and you take another
one tomorrow and so on. Today, especially in today’s environment, where we have so much competition, where speed is so important, we need, we definitely need to
always think different, in my company, we have a very easy rule, whatever we do, whatever, in any field, we always try to be the
first and/or to be unique and/or to be different, and
whatever the project is, we have to put the three
conditions and project leader or the guy who brings
the idea has to answer those three questions, if he
says yes, we will be the first, yes, we’ll be unique,
yes, we’ll be different, it’s finished, there is no budget anymore, unlimited budget, no
restriction, he can go ahead because whenever you are
the first and different and unique, you cannot
be wrong, you will win. – When you have downtime,
like if something didn’t work the way you want, what
do you do to get back on that positiveness? – I talk to the mountain,
I have a mountain next to my home that is
called Rocher de Naye, it goes up to two, it’s very
low, it goes up to 2004, 2500 meters, or I talk to
the Dovey de Vie mountain, which is 4000 mountains,
which is a little further away from my home, which I see every morning, I see those two mountains and
I say to these two mountains, mountains, I have a problem,
but when I look at you you are 37 million old. (men laugh) – And I am a little guy.
– You seem to be gay … – I am a little guy here
with a little problem, can you help me, and they
will say, come on, look, what we have already
seen in so many years, your problem is a
nano-problem, come on, get up. – Just get up, do it. – And whatever, that’s it. Many people are what we
call managers, overseers, and today they can spend seven
years in the watch business and eventually then they
might move and be a CEO in a car business or in a crystal brand, you know, these people are
clever and great entrepreneurs but they are not necessarily
deeply connected forever to one passion, I am
connected just to watches. I don’t, I would never
like to do another job, of course I have other little passions, I love wine, I love cheese,
I love classic cars, but I would never transform
them in a business because my passion is not deep enough, while watches is my
life, if I have to die, I want people to remember two things, I want children and my
wife to remember my love and I want people to
remember my contribution to the watch business, so
that’s really my objective, that’s why I would never
leave this business, and not many, I have been
in the business since ’74, so it’s nearly 40 years, (laughs), 39 years in the same business,
and I don’t know many people in this business that
have been 39 years there. Some great people came but
they came from a car brand or came from Ferrari or
Maserati, and joined the watch business and maybe in seven
years they’re going to move and go to Hermes or
Vuitton, so it’s different, I am a watch fan, a watch freak. It’s not enough if you get
help, you must accept help and to accept help, you
must be capable of learning. And who teach you how to learn, nobody, the schools are giving you
every day a spoon of knowledge, and you get it in, and
tomorrow another spoon, and then you leave university,
but you don’t know how to learn because you have
been used that they feed you with knowledge, but after the university, then you have to start to
learn, you have to start to learn how to learn
and you have to be humble and you must never believe you know it, you must have doubts,
the doubt is your friend, anybody with little doubts, I’m afraid of because these are the dangerous people, people who drive the car
with no doubts in the fog or on the street full
of snow, I am afraid of, I want people that have full of doubts because the doubt helps you to stay humble and helps you every day to ask yourself am I on the right track,
what I did yesterday, is that right, my vision,
is my vision still okay, and if you forget to ask
these questions daily, one day, pfft, you will
be in the wrong direction. So innovation, creativity
at the end of the day is more powerful than knowledge. Yeah, knowledge is so
easy for anybody to get, of course you have to
study, you have to learn, but knowledge is there whenever you want with the new technology, whatever, with all the universities,
knowledge is for everybody here, and where is innovation,
where is creativity? Innovation and creativity
is above knowledge, that is what you put on top of knowledge and thank God, innovation and creativity, people normally cannot learn,
that gives a huge advantage to the ones who are innovative, if everybody could learn creativity, if everybody could learn innovation, we would have to invent
something more or different to make the difference between the people who have learned something and
the people who are innovative so innovation, creativity
is definitely more powerful, is much stronger, than knowledge, creativity and innovation
is a way of thinking and in order to make
people become innovative we have created around in our company an atmosphere that brings
people to be innovative, and the most important atmosphere is that you must permit
people to do mistakes. If you give bonus for every mistake, then people make mistakes,
but they make mistakes with a huge pleasure because
they get an additional pay, an additional money for every mistake and when you ask people
to do a lot of mistakes then people become very
active and they trust, they start to trust
themselves, the problem is in many companies, people
are afraid to be active, they are afraid to take
initiatives, they are afraid to innovate because
innovation brings uncertainty, when you innovate, you
never know, innovation is like vision, it’s
not reality, the reality you have to make it
through later and that, to bring people, to take
risks, to be active, you can only bring them to that stage if you are capable of forgiving mistakes and how can you show that
you forgive mistakes, you give a little bonus for every mistake and I promise you, if you do that, little bonus, 100 to 1000
Swiss francs for a mistake, if it’s a very big mistake, a big bonus, if it’s a small mistake,
small bonus. (laughs) So you see it’s also a very innovative way of bringing creativity out of everybody. Hublot came out with a product in 1980, a product that was based on an innovation to introduce rubber as a strap,
it seems very common today, but rubber in 1980 was
a real courageous move, it was even the provocation,
people said hey, on a gold watch, rubber? Because people didn’t know
rubber comes from a tree, rubber is natural, rubber
is very comfortable, it’s very flexible and
rubber is very resistant and it’s waterproof so
finally it’s ideal for a watch but in those days, people
thought it’s a provocation, and then Hublot could
not evolve, they stayed on a product and I said,
we are not a product, we have a message first,
we have a concept, and a concept is fusion,
why, because in 1980 when we put gold together with rubber, we created a fusion
because gold and rubber never come together, they were together only one time in life,
during the Big Bang, then everything was in one,
and then rubber went away and said, okay, I go now on my tree and gold said, okay, I go
and rest in South Africa under the earth and
since then they never met til people take them and connect them, so I said Hublot made a
fusion and fusion must be our message, must be our
philosophy, must be our religion and once we have this religion
clear and it is named fusion then we can develop further products that not necessarily need rubber anymore because fusion goes further
away than just rubber, it can be carbon, it can
be ceramic, whatever, so I was capable to free
Hublot from the product and give Hublot a message
and from that message new products were born and
that was the most important element in the revival of the brand, it’s to take it away
from a product concept and to give it a brand message
and from the brand message we are then later born
in 2005 new products. This guy from that company told me, you going to work one year, Mr. Biver, and I give you half a
salary, I said, what, half a salary, 50%, I said, why, I’m going to tell you, because
we not work during one year, you will not work, you will
learn, and because you learn, somebody must teach you,
and we, my company’s going to teach you, so you pay me
half of your salary to teach you (laughs) These were the good bosses, that’s the right way to think,
that’s what you have to tell to the young people, you
come to me, during one year, I give you a half salary
because the other half you pay me because I teach
you, which is true, by the way, that’s how it is, but the young people, they don’t want half salary,
they want full salary, okay, then I don’t
employ you, stay outside, go to another company,
young people must be ready to accept half salary,
and they are not ready, at least not in the few countries I know, so this guy told me, half
salary and no office, no secretary, no visit card,
no phone, no traveling, no nothing, I said, what will I get, you’re going to learn, and to
learn you don’t need an office and to learn you don’t need a secretary and to learn you don’t need a phone and to learn you don’t need a credit card and to learn you don’t need a name card, so I started to learn, and in one year, I was there learning, and how do you learn when you go in a company,
they put you in an office with the director of the
design and then you are there and then you sit, and
the guy designs watches, and he says, okay, hello, sit there, and then you look, and the guy designs and after two hours, you
say, what am I doing here, I cannot look at this guy
designing all the time, so you start to ask questions,
and then the guy said, sorry, I have no time, I
must design my watches. (laughs) Then you tell him,
do you want the coffee, and he says, yes, and then
you go and make coffee. (laughs) You start
becoming very, very humble and you don’t want to lose too much time so you try to take from him,
to take knowledge from him and then you tell him, yeah, for lunch, can we have lunch together,
they say no, not now, I have my wife, yeah, but maybe one day, he says, okay, let’s
see, and then you have one day lunch with him,
and then the guy starts to become more open, and one day, you say, oh, can I invite you
with your wife to my home and so I have been one day in the company sitting with everybody, with
the director of production, with the director of
the after-sales service, with the director of quality control, with the director of the design, with the director of IT, with everybody, with the finance, with
everybody and because of this, I learn the basics of the
history of the company, but also at the same time,
the history of the watchmaking art and after one year, I
knew much, much, much more about the history of
making watches, about how to make watches, about the
mentality of the watchmakers, about the history of the
Swiss watchmaking industry, than anybody else because
I had been one year just listening to people. I had the passion as a
child, which was to play with steam machines,
and one day I believed that I should take the steam machine and I should see how the steam machine as an adult can be present, not anymore like a steam machine but like a watch so I made the transition
from the steam machine to the watch, and then the
watch has become my toy as an adult, toy of a
child, steam machine, toy of the adult, the
watch, and from that day on, I entered the watch industry,
and I was free of work, I became a free man that
didn’t have to work anymore, so when you’re a free
man, when you have love, when you have health, pfft,
you are again in paradise, so, I should call myself
paradise man. (laughs) – Thank you guys so much for watching, I made this video because
Joe Bordo asked me to, so if there’s a famous
entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it
down in the comments below and I’ll see what I can
do, I’d also love to know what did you take from Jean-Claude today that had the biggest
impact on you, what message hit you the hardest that you’re
going to immediately apply somehow to your life or
business, leave it down in the comments below
and I’m going to join in the discussion, I also
want to give a quick shout-out to Janina Lee Del Rio,
thank you so much, Janina, for picking up a copy of
my book, Your One Word, I really, really appreciate
all your support, so thank you guys again for
watching, I believe in you, I hope you continue to
believe in yourself, and whatever your one word is,
much love, I’ll see you soon. – I did a lot in my life, just
because I got a lot of help. Help is all you need, and
help, how do you get help? The first help is love,
love is all you need. It’s a song from the Beatles,
all you need is love, and the day you die,
and you have given love, and you have received love,
then that day you can say, I was successful, that’s
the only measure of success, is how much love have I
given to other people, that’s the success and that’s life, we are here for a little
period, and during this little period, we have one mission, to share, sharing is an act of love, try to share, try to think,
a mother shares her body with all of you, nobody
here in this room is not the result of a sharing
process between your mother and yourself, if women would
refuse to share their body, to share their blood,
to share their oxygen, nobody would be born
anymore, so we are the result of a sharing process, the result of love. And that’s the rule of life,
and that’s all what matters.


Reader Comments

  1. hi ,i took one idea that fits with me the most ,to have doubt and not to thing that i am right all the time.

  2. I love what he says about sharing at the end!
    As long as we keep to ourselves, we are screwed. Sharing is caring, because only together we can be happy and successful.
    This is why my #OneWord is #Together =)
    #BTA97 #BelieveNation

  3. All that matters is love. How much of love you shared. That's the universal principle of life. The more you share, the more your recieve😊

    Secondly, I like #3: Putting things into perspective. Speaking to the mountains over his troubles. Beautiful….

  4. JC Biver. My favourite to date. Our VR animation operation is still a work in progress going into Year 5. Your videos Even Get me thorough the tough days and I circulate them whenever possible. I suggest that you consider Michael OLeary from Ryanair for a Top Ten. Really interesting dude and after all it is still St Patrick's Day.
    One word! Knowledge

  5. # 7 – the value of innovation over knowledge – not a new concept but he put it together differently and it made me think; #9 taking the time to listen, observe and learn your craft – excellent! And I love that he talked about his one word "fusion"! Evan you have me paying more attention to the one word that each person/business incorporates, sometimes unknowingly into all aspects. Thanks!

  6. I love "using the mountains to put your problems into perspective". An old friend used to ask when I would talk about a problem, "Are your great-grandchildren going to read about this in the history books? If not, then just let it go."

  7. Me personally, I think number nine is the most important message!
    sit down..shut up, listen, look and learn bevor you think that you are a big shot! BE HUMBLE!

  8. I love his philosophy of sharing all you have received, when you share you are practicing either, and keeping on the right track it's a very important idea to success on your ideas and projects.
    THE DOUBTS are very important to share, if you don't share doubts you won't receive knowledge and without knowledge you'll be an ignorant, and the ignorance is dangerous.

  9. Dank je Arthur Dontje voor het tippen naar deze 10 rules of …. love/passion! Mij spreekt zijn regel 4 aan: put things in perspective.

  10. Shortly after this gentleman started to speak, I just stopped everything else, and focused on his thoughts intensely. He is brilliant to the Nth degree. In every one of the category he mentioned he said something, which broke a mold, which customarily shackles our thoughts. For example, when he talked about luck. It immediately felt right what he said intuitively as I listened to him. Or in his first point, when he talked about the watchmaker who constantly need to remind himself that he loves what he is doing, his life, his circumstances, he loves that screw he just drove-in etc. Independent to this but relevant, that scientist-researchers once made an experiment talking to the snow they collected for experiment. First they said derogatory things to the sample, the second time, positive, appreciative praises to the control sample. In the first instance, the snow crystals 'suffered' deformity, visible under microscope. In the second instance, they maintained their individual, highly aesthetical form. The result of the experiment remained the same, doesn't matter, how many times was repeated. They couldn't find any rational explanation for this phenomenon.

  11. This is the best video I've ever seen, a real manager and chief, he understood the humain nature and the way to get the best from it.

  12. This guy is a genius not in a sense of knowing technical stuff… He really is into the big picture. Completely out of the box.

  13. A great man with a sincere passion… One often learns from those who truly inspire them to do their best. Mr. Biver is one of those prized individuals.

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