Silicon Valley player McVicker had an idea so brilliant—selling medical equipment via the Internet—that he cashed out $100,000 in personal pension funds at 40 cents on the dollar to get fast money to keep it going.
That gulp-inducing leap occurs early in the scary financial roller-coaster ride McVicker chronicles here, a business thriller he writes with verve and skill. After that come the VCs (not gun-toting Viet Cong but high-rolling Venture Capitalists) who demand every piece of data short of McVicker's shoe size before they'll invest in his baby, Neoforma. Indeed, the VCs are all over him to change the name to something jazzier, but McVicker's focus is on his effort to make Neoforma succeed while maintaining his sanity, his family, his solvency and his self-respect. Born in the dot-com boom and a survivor of the Big Bust, Neoforma's story, as told here, is not a how-to manual. Yet the reader comes away convinced that old-fashioned hard work, trusting instincts and hiring good people who fit your corporate culture remain the well-known secrets to business success, even in the MBA era. But one also learns that the 21st-century business world doesn't contain a whole lot of trust, and finding a true friend in the business jungle is no easy task. Particularly attractive is McVicker's direct, concise writing style in brief, clipped chapters that go down easy.
For the manager, a handy tool, as well as a tale of financial daring exciting enough to interest a general readership. (BookAnnouncements' Business Author of the Year; Do-It-Yourself Book Festival Book of the Year in 2004)