Samsung's success secret isn't terribly sexy: It became the world's largest tech company by revenue—bigger than Apple, Google, Amazon, or Facebook—by flooding the market with dozens of options in a "see-what-sticks strategy" that has more than worked, writes Farhad Manjoo in Slate. Rather than try to predict the next big thing, Samsung basically just tries everything, in categories ranging from phones to refrigerators; swiftly axes the duds; and markets the heck out of the winners. "Be in enough places and you’re bound to catch something no one was predicting," Manjoo writes.
Its Galaxy Note phone/tablet (aka, phablet) being a great case in point. Most tech critics laughed at the 5.3-inch device when it was unveiled in 2011, calling it ungainly and awkward. "But the joke's on me and my smart-ass tech journo colleagues," writes Manjoo, noting that the Note sold 10 million units last year, making it one of the best smartphone launches ever. The Note II is set to do even better. Sure, Samsung may lack the high-end cult of aesthetics of Apple or Google's worship of open information. But by lacking a philosophy, Samsung's approach is an "admission that customers, not companies, know best." Click for Manjoo's full column.