Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Anita Roddick - Redefining Business

Anita With its strong environmental flare and popular demand of the products, Roddick had already opened a second shop before her husband’s return of being gone 10 months. Customers wanted to sell the products, and in 1984 the company went public and spread franchises all over England. Today The Body Shop has over 1,980 stores and more than 77 million customers in 50 different markets serving customers in over 25 different languages. Its success put Roddick's net worth at more than $200 million. In 2006, the company became an independently managed subsidiary of the L'OrĂ©al Group

story of Body Shop: While her husband was away, Roddick gave birth to The Body Shop. 0ut of desperation, she created cosmetics out of every ingredient that she stored in her garage. She opened her first shop in Brighton, England, with only fifteen products and was able to finance the store using her hotel as collateral. Her products contained ingredients that women used in cleansing rituals that she had witnessed in her travels. She describes a woman’s body as a canvas to paint stories on.

Harvey Mackay - "Mr. Make Things Happen"

Mackay didn't start completely from scratch. At age 26, he purchased a failing small envelope company, which 40 years later has grown to an $85 million business employing over 500 people. Mackay's philosophy is engrained in the company, beginning with its motto: "Do what you love... love what you do... and deliver more than you promise." Outstanding customer service is the cornerstone of Mackay's business, and was the basis for his first book, Swim With the Sharks (Without Being Eaten Alive).

Family Values for him : In spite of his hectic schedule (Mackay speaks on average once a week to corporations and organizations), he still finds plenty of time for family and fun. He is an avid golfer (11.4 handicap) and recently won the Super Senior Men's championship at his home club in Scottsdale. He and his wife, Carol Ann, have been married over 40 years, and enjoy spending time with their nine grandchildren. They are avid travelers, taking an annual trip to Italy, and planning upcoming tours of China and Africa

Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty (his logic) : Mackay is a master of networking. He believes that most people make the mistake of only turning to their network when they need it, for example, when they're looking for a new job. Mackay says that networking is a lifelong practice that provides you with new knowledge and experiences, job security, expanded financial reach, and the strength of the group. The secret to maintaining a great network is, above all, knowing the value of the personal touch.

Swim With the Sharks for him : Central to Mackay's business, and to his books, is the ability to stay competitive in the often cutthroat world of business, to "swim with the sharks", without sacrificing one's personal integrity or doing it at the expense of other people. He does this by focusing on building strong relationships with both customers and employees, giving Mackay envelope a reputation for being a great place to work, as well as a great place to do business with. Key to this is the effective use of information.

Bestselling Author: Mackay's easy and entertaining style, combined with practical insights, have struck a chord with business readers all over the world. He is one of the best-selling business authors of all time. Swim With the Sharks[, topped the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year! Understandably, his second book, Beware the Naked Man..., earned him the largest advance in publishing history, and was a #1 seller within two weeks of publication. He has written five best-sellers, and #6 is on the way.
Giving Back: Mackay is well known for giving back to his community, in a variety of ways. Swim With the Sharks tells the story of how his exceptional efforts kept the Twins in Minnesota. He is also a great supporter of the arts, serving as a director on Robert Redford's Sundance Institute and the Minnesota Orchestral Association, and of entrepreneurial education, serving on the board of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and speaking frequently at business schools around the country.

The Mackay 66: The Mackay 66 is a tool he uses and recommends for gathering information about customers: personal information, business background, special interests, lifestyle, their business needs, and the nature of your relationship with them. His approach to using this information is both practical and ethical: it is not used to deceive customers into thinking we care about them more than we do, but rather to allow us to treat them like we would want to, if only our brains could handle the information.

Friday, September 12, 2008

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Adam Osborne- first portable computer

Adam Osborne was born in Thailand March 6, 1939 to British parents where he spent most of his childhood in India. He attended school and graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1961 and received his PHD from the University of Delaware. Adam’s career started out as a chemical engineer working for Shell Oil and then left in the early 1970’s to pursue his interests in computers and technical writing.
Osborne Computer Corporation: In 1981 Adam introduced the first portable computer the Osborne 1. The computer weighed 23.5 pounds and cost $1,795, just over half the cost of a computer from other manufacturers with comparable features. The computer ran the popular CP/M operating system and featured a full keyboard and a tiny 5" built-in monochrome monitor. The company shipped over 10,000 computers a month and was considered a huge success, earning $6 million in 1981 and by the next year into the $68 million range.
The Fall of Osborne Computer: One version of the story says that Osborne Computers collapsed when Adam bragged to the media about two advanced computers the corporation was working on and destroyed the consumer demand for the Osborne 1. The result was inventory glut and the company was forced to file bankruptcy. But later research turned up that the machine Osborne had boasted of shipped and put the company back on track until a single executive built up massive debt trying to complete the assembly of older inventory.
Books: After the fall of the Osborne Computer Corporation, he wrote and published several best selling books about his experience, including Hypergrowth: The Rise and Fall of Osborne Computer Corporation.

Adam was a pioneer in the computer book industry. He founded Osborne Publishing in 1972, specializing in easy-to-follow computer manuals. By 1977 Osborne had over 40 titles in its catalog. In 1979 he sold his company to McGraw Hill for a rumored $3 million, using the money to launch Osborne Computer.

Software Publishing: In 1984 Adam founded Paperback Software International, which specialized in inexpensive computer software. The company's ads featured Osborne himself arguing that if telephone companies applied the same logic to their pricing as software companies, a telephone would cost $600. Lotus Corporation sued Paperback for copyright infringement in 1987, sending consumer and investor confidence spiraling downward. Lotus won the suit in 1990 and Osborne stepped down from the company shortly thereafter.

Michael Dell-- Master of Personal Computer Industry

Michael Dell, born February 1965, started the road to success out of his University of Texas dorm room in 1984 with just $1,000 and an idea to provide affordable personal computers to college students. Dell is now Chairman and CEO of his company with a net worth of over $30 billion. Dell sells primarily direct to the customer to avoid middleman mark-ups.
Dell Computer Corporation: Dell is the world's largest PC manufacturer, growing from $6 million annual revenue to over $40 billion in only sixteen years. It employs over 40,000 people in over 170 countries worldwide. Dell’s product line has diversified to includes not only PC’s and network servers, but storage systems, printers, hand-held computers, MP3 players, and televisions, plus a wide selection of computer services. Dell is the largest online computer retailer, selling an average of $30 million a day.
Recognition: In 1992 Dell became the youngest CEO ever to earn a ranking on the Fortune 500. Dell has also been recognized "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Inc. magazine, "Man of the Year" by PC magazine, "Top CEO in American Business" by Worth magazine, and "CEO of the Year" by Financial World and Industry Week. Dell Computer is also Fortune’s "America’s Most Admired Company" and #3 globally.
Michael Dell is the author of Direct from Dell: Strategies That Revolutionized an Industry. The book includes the story about his rise to the top and also his business philosophy. Not even the age of forty and Michael Dell is one of the richest people in the world

Bill Gates - Windows on Wealth

William Gates III was born in 1955. The son of an attorney and a teacher, Gates grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. He began dabbling in computer programming at age 13 and sold his first program to a school for about $4,000. As a teenager, he befriended Paul Allen, and the two both left Seattle to attend Harvard University. While at Harvard, they formed a company specializing in computer software, which they named Microsoft. They trademarked the name in 1976.
College Dropout: Gates did not finish his education at Harvard. He dropped out in his junior year to devote himself to Microsoft. Gates and Allen saw huge growth potential in the personal computer industry and thought Microsoft could write the necessary software to run personal computers. The company made its first big strike in 1980, when IBM agreed to let Microsoft write the operating system for its new personal computer. This language became known as MS-DOS.
Microsoft's Growth: The early years of Microsoft were much like that of any startup firm. Everyone wore multiple hats – from answering phones to writing code. In fact, there are reports that in the early years Gates insisted on proofreading every line of code that was used in a finished project and would often change his colleagues’ work.
Much of Microsoft’s growth can be attributed to a contractual clause Gates included in his 1980 deal with IBM. The stipulation allowed him to license MS-DOS and sell it to other personal computer companies. MS-DOS spread quickly throughout the personal computing arena. Allen left the company in 1983 after a serious illness, although he remained a member of Microsoft's board of directors for many years. In 1985, Microsoft Windows 1.0 was introduced. A year later, Microsoft was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with Gates attaining billionaire status.
Format Wars: When MS-DOS was released, it was one of three operating systems available on the market, but it quickly became the leader, partially because of Microsoft’s relationship with PC heavyweight IBM. It was seen as very basic. When rival Apple Inc. released the first Macintosh computer in 1984, its operating system was seen as more sophisticated and user-friendly. The operating system format wars between Microsoft and Apple began.
Network Effects: Ultimately, Microsoft would become the ruling system because of a condition known as “network effects.” Originally, computers needed to use the same operating system to communicate across a network. The value of MS-DOS increased with every additional MS-DOS user, and decreased with every new Apple user. MS-DOS was entrenched, and the switching costs for users too high. Microsoft, with its Windows system, would continue to win the format wars with Apple during the 1990s.
Innovative or Lucky?: While the success of Bill Gates can’t be denied, the creative genius of Bill Gates has been challenged. Computer Science Professor David Gelernter of Yale University wrote in Time magazine in 1998 that he believes Gates is overrated as a pioneer and entrepreneur. Gelernter contends that Microsoft often makes products by combining ideas that already exist in the marketplace. Gates was criticized in the 1990s for not recognizing the power and potential of the Internet. Even Gates admits he did not embrace the Web until 1996, two years after browsers debuted.
Microsoft Antitrust Litigation: The U.S. Justice Department brought an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in 1998, in which it was alleged Microsoft engaged in anticompetitive behavior by bundling Windows with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. The company contended the two items were essentially the same product. The court initially ruled against Microsoft and ordered the company to be broken up into an operating system division and a browser division. However, this sentence was changed on appeal, and the company settled with provisions that some code be made available to outside parties.
Current Position and Philanthropy: Gates stepped aside as CEO of Microsoft in 2000 with Steve Ballmer, another Harvard friend, taking over that role. Gates remains the chairman of Microsoft, although in 2006 he announced he plans to back away from day-to-day Microsoft operations by 2008.

Gates has taken a considerable amount of his wealth and funneled it into philanthropic causes. His post-Microsoft plans include devoting more time to charity. His most well-known project is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he started with his wife. The foundation was formed in 2000 and aims to reduce global poverty, improve global health and increase technology awareness in American schools. Gates also donated the proceeds from books he authored to nonprofits that work to improve the application of technology in educational settings. The Gates Foundation is reported to be worth more than $30 billion.

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