Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Success Book Reviews - "The Success Effect" Part 2

This is part 2 of my review of John Eckberg’s The Success Effect: Uncommon Conversations With America's Business Trailblazers. I was so impressed with one of the people in the latter half of the book, Doug Newburg, that I created a separate post about him here. But many of the business pros in the second half of the book are distinguished by their capacity as self-starters who found a need, and passionately set out to fill it. Here are a few examples woven together in Eckberg’s extensive collection of business luminaries:

Ron DeLyons, already a successful investment manager, realized that there was a need for smaller minority-owned firms to consolidate so they could compete for contracts from corporate giants like Toyota and P&G. He formed his own boutique investment bank to do just that.

Doug Hall of the Eureka Institute saw a need to move market research from the “hocus pocus” of focus groups, to a quantified, computer base “game of probabilities”. Once a product, or set of products, can be evaluated in this way, it opens the door for much better risk-management in a very demanding field, where lots of money can be lost if you launch the wrong product.

Ex-NBA rebounding great Tyrone Hill realized that school kids were being ill-served by school food, and now his All-Star Vending brings healthy snacks to the school hallways while also helping out with scholarship programs.

Robert Robinson Sr. of KaiVac revolutionized janitorial work with powerful machines that radically raised the dignity of janitorial workers.

None of these paths were easy paths to take, and many of these entrepreneurs would have been much “safer” in their previous jobs. But their initiative, creativity, and persistence enabled them to create whole new businesses where none was before. One of the many upsides to such creativity, is that the new niche they find is often uncrowded, so, if the user of the product can be educated as to the new product's benefits, there is very ittle competition. And the barriers to entry, especially the detailed knowledge needed to explore such niches, are daunting enough so that, hopefully, competition can stay scare for a while.

These stories are excellent templates for success for the rest of us, and especially welcome when we need some inspiration, and validation, that others can do it…and so can we.

Part 1 of this review


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