After Tim Nybo graduated from college in 2010, he decided to start a business in China. He packed up his few belongings, bought a one-way ticket, and moved to a Chinese manufacturing city, although he couldn’t speak the language or even use chopsticks.
At the time the United States’ economy was in recession, but the Chinese economy was thriving. Nybo had five thousand dollars in his pocket, but that didn’t take him far. He started teaching English classes to cover his living expenses. And all the time he was mulling over ideas for a product he could export and sell.
An idea came to him when the market for iPads and tablets boomed. He partnered with a manufacturing company to produce cases for the devices. He poured enormous effort into the business, but he forgot one thing: quality control. As a result, he ordered thousands of cases for electronic tablets that were defective. They didn’t fit the tablets they were supposed to match, and the buttons were in the wrong places. Not surprisingly, the young businessman lost his shirt.1
But Tim Nybo learned a lesson that shaped his subsequent career as an entrepreneur in San Diego. “We wanted a product built to our exact specifications, but we neglected quality control from the beginning. . . . Our experience taught us that people who involve themselves in the quality control process receive substantially better products.”
Nybo’s greatest takeaway from the experience: “Product quality, not profit margins, is the key to long-term success.”2 As a result of this principle, he’s become so successful that others now learn from his lessons and leadership.
Quality control will make or break any commercial enterprise. Quality control is essential in business, in public utilities, in agriculture, in education, in sports—in every area of life. And it is vital to our personalities too. You and I are not exempt from the need for personal quality control. If we’re going to be strong and effective people who can withstand the pressures of this world and bear a testimony and leave behind a legacy, we must be people of quality.
The Bible has a word for that: virtue.
That’s a word we seldom hear anymore, but it’s in the Bible. It’s the Bible’s quality-control division, and the apostle Peter told us we should be diligent about adding virtue to our faith (2 Peter 1:5).
David Jeremiah, Everything You Need: 8 Essential Steps to a Life of Confidence in the Promises of God (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2019).
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