Ripping up the rules of management

Meet Business 2.0 Magazine's contrarians, 11 business leaders who achieved success by zigging while the rest of the world zagged.

"It's OK not to be No. 1" -- Jim Lanzone, CEO, Ask.com
At General Electric (GE), Jack Welch was famous for insisting that the company compete only in businesses where it could be one of the top two players. Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone doesn't buy the Welch rule -- even though Welch serves on his board. "You can be the fourth-ranked search engine, like we are, and still be doing very, very well," says Lanzone, whose company trails Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO), and MSN (MSFT).

Founded in 1996 as Ask Jeeves, Lanzone's site struggled to find a following in a crowded field of look-alike search engines. Then in 2005 the company was bought by Barry Diller's IAC/ InterActiveCorp (IACI), which began investing heavily in the site. Lanzone's guiding principle: Stay focused on improving search results, rather than on distractions like e-mail or blog services.

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.