A lively and informative narrative of product-based entrepreneurship in the virtual-product age, by business-school roommates who built and sold a better mouse.
A computer mouse, that is, and shaped like a golf driver at that. Lusk and Harrison were both on track to graduate from Wharton in 1999, with career prospects of an eminently respectable and highly lucrative sort regularly dangled before them. They chose instead to create a company called Platinum Concepts, whose first product was said mouse resembling the head of a golf driver. Harrison took the title of president; Lusk became marketing vice-president. They designed their product, developed business and marketing plans, and established their company base in their San Francisco apartment. Adventures and misadventures followed on the road to profit. Product samples manufactured in Hong Kong arrived; design adjustments consumed considerable time and energy. They learned that the buying period for the Christmas retail season had already passed and realized they had neglected key aspects of product distribution, essential to wholesale-to-retail marketing. New strategies were developed, and the company made its first sale: 200 MouseDrivers to Bank of America. Assorted personalities the company encountered included a nearly narcoleptic sales representative and a psycho-gonzo retail consultant; successes included contacts established with suppliers in the promotional products industry and at trade shows. The company made a profit, and the tale ends with Platinum Concepts still solvent and operational. The authors’ story is as clean and fast as a Tiger Woods tee-shot; they share copious amounts of information with generosity, humor, and all-American spirit.
Perhaps not for the general public, but a must-have for those in the business of business.