Unabashedly adulatory profiles of 100 paragons of enterprise, plus
a prefatory survey of entrepreneurship that's notable mainly for
addled analysis and graceless style. At the outset, Silver
emphasizes that he made his selections on the basis of social as
well as economic criteria, which may or may not explain the absence
of Nolan Bushnell (Atari), Seymour Cray, John Cullinane, Diane von
Furstenberg, Hugh Hefner, Calvin Klein, Ed Lowe (who gave us Kitty
Litter), T. Boone Pickens and other current stars of the
marketplace. His hot hundred's ranks encompass the unexceptionable
likes of Martin Allen (Computervision), the Bloch brothers (H&R
Block), Frank Carney (Pizza Hut), Roger Horchow, Amin Khoury
(Delmed), Phil Knight (NIKE), George Lucas (Star Wars), James W.
Rouse, Sam Walton (Wal-Mart Stores), and Charles Kemmons Wilson
(Holiday Inns). Captains of industry include: J.B. Fuqua; Akio
Morita (Sony); Royal Little (Textron); Kenneth Olsen (Digital
Equipment); H. Ross Perot (Electronic Data Systems); Milton Petrie;
Henry Singleton (Teledyne); and An Wang. Among the eight women who
made the final cut are Mary Kay Ash, Sandra Kurtzig (ASK Computer
Systems), and Liz Claiborne Ortenberg. Appreciably less defensible,
though, are Silver's introductory observations. Commenting on what
it takes to make the entrepreneurial grade, for example, he singles
out "heart.' The modern age of entrepreneurship dates back to the
1957 launch of Sputnik, according to Silver, who also seems to
believe that William Shockley invented the transistor (a 1948
creation of Bell Labs) in California, circa 1960. Later, after
reviewing newsletters, direct-mail merchandising, party-plan
selling, and other low-tech opportunities, he directs prospective
proprietors who need to draft a business plan down the fast track
called PERT - for program evaluation and review technique (not
research tool, as in the text). Also jarring is Silver's bent for
grandiloquence. Among other howlers, he characterizes the 1960's as
a period when "virtually every sacred cow was wrenched loose from
its structure, turned upside down, vigorously re-examined for its
validity, and restructured." Suspect guidance in a shoddy package.
A fascinating collage of stories about 100 of our most successful
entrepreneurs - individuals who have made $25 million or more
launching new enterprises. From Rose Blumkin, 91, founder of the
Nebraska Furniture Company, to Star Wars mogul George Lucas, the
book profiles successful entrepreneurs, revealing their work
histories, personalities, personal backgrounds, and quotes that
offer blue chip advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. The book also
shows why the US economy is ripe for entrepreneurs now, identifying
10 entrepreneurial traits, and describing the step-by-step process
most entrepreneurs go through to get where they are.
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