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The MouseDriver Chronicles: The True-Life Adventures of Two First-Time Entrepreneurs
 
 


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The MouseDriver Chronicles: The True-Life Adventures of Two First-Time Entrepreneurs [Paperback]

John Lusk , Kyle Harrison
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

John Lusk and Kyle Harrison seemed slightly out of their minds when, unlike their fellow MBAs, they skipped on flashy, lucrative offers from dot-coms to become entrepreneurs. Specifically, to produce and sell a computer mouse designed to look like a golf-club head (a state-of-the-art titanium driver to be exact). "I wanted to feel the pain of starting a company," Lusk writes in this clear and insightful memoir, "to go into debt, have my ego crushed and experience first-hand the thrill of working like a dog for months without a paycheck." Since he also expected to make a million in two years, it's not surprising that all these come to pass. The duo struggle with the fundamentals of making and selling, run-ins with typhoons, shabby off-shore manufacturing, and soon dot-com envy sets in. But when the dot-coms start going belly-up, this little-retail-product-company-that-could shows that the basics of business still apply--a handy lesson for those wondering what happened after the dot-com crash, as well as any would-be entrepreneurs wanting to make a go of it. --Lesley Reed --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this unconventional memoir, Wharton graduates Lusk and Harrison (actually, just Lusk; Harrison contributed only the epilogue) tell how they started a company the old-fashioned way: they had an idea, raised some money, then manufactured and sold their product. That product is the MouseDriver, a computer mouse resembling the head of a golf club. Not exactly an earth-shattering concept, but for Lusk and Harrison the product is almost beside the point. Their intent here is to show how, in an age of venture capitalists and "revolutionary" business models, it's still possible for non-dot-commers to start a company and make a buck. They founded Platinum Concepts Inc. in the summer of 1999 and set up shop in their shared loft in San Francisco, then a hi-tech boomtown. Obstacles in the beginning were legion: the first MouseDrivers were prone to falling apart; a typhoon almost wiped out their Hong Kong manufacturer; and retail inexperience caused them to miss the Christmas rush. But they persevered, and within 18 months had made $600,000 in sales and moved 50,000 units. Not quite GE, but not a failure either. The authors argue that almost anyone can achieve this kind of modest success; it just takes intelligence, determination and a good idea (although an MBA probably doesn't hurt). Though the book is occasionally less than enlightening (a blow-by-blow account of a Sony Playstation session is unlikely to help budding entrepreneurs), on the whole Lusk and Harrison provide solid, entertaining insights into how to start a business. This is a refreshing alternative to the recent wave of narcissistic dot-com memoirs. (Jan.)Forecast: The authors were the subject of a cover story in Inc. magazine in February, and have been covered widely in golf magazines. That, and a splashy jacket, may help buyers pick up their book. It will mainly appeal to ambitious young entrepreneurs especially those who've had it with the dot-com life.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Lusk and Harrison are cofounders and essentially the only employees of Platinum Concepts, a one-product start-up located in the shark-filled waters of San Francisco. In this engaging work, they describe how, after their graduation from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, they avoided the typical banking, consulting, and dot-com jobs and instead set out to experience the ins and outs of life as entrepreneurs. Starting with their decision to develop and market a computer mouse that looks like the head of a golf club (MouseDriver), this well-written chronicle effectively describes the many challenges they overcame, including the hunt for a marketable product, the pitfalls of product development, the problems associated with manufacturing, and the need for flexible business and marketing plans, common objectives, and industry-experienced mentors. Along the way, the authors reveal an appreciation of the importance of logistics, distribution, patents, and trademarks and show how they learned to carry on despite legal challenges, unexpected results, and business lulls. An interesting and insightful study; recommended for both academic and public libraries. Norm Hutcherson, California State Univ., Bakersfield
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Shunning the siren call of dot-coms after their graduation from Wharton School's MBA program, Lusk and Harrison did what few enterprising young Americans now dream of: started up a manufacturing company. They began with an idea sparked by a school paper--the MouseDriver, a computer mouse shaped like a golf club's head--and they chronicle their ins and outs in a soon-to-be-widely-read e-newsletter. This is the witty and wise testament to their trials and tribulations--and a dawning of humility, as the realization that Big Five consulting stints and a degree from a prestigious university do not a successful company make. Laugh when Chinese Moon Cakes accompany a missive announcing that a typhoon and earthquake have disrupted Asia production. Sympathize when Brian, once perceived as sales savior, turns out to be a fast-talking do-nothing. And learn along with the authors about the vagaries of PMS colors, the advertising specialties world, patent infringement, and trade shows, among other barriers and breakthroughs. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"An entertaining and informative read...successfully captures the shadow that inevitably falls between business ideas--even tiny ones--and their execution." -- Boston Globe

"Wonderfully engaging. [One] of the rare business books where giving away the ending would spoil the enjoyment." -- USA Today

"[A] fun and hopeful book." -- Los Angeles Times

About the Author

John Lusk spent four years as a management consultant in the Information Technology Group at Ernst & Young. In 1997, he enrolled in the Wharton School of Business, where he met Kyle Harrison. Together they founded Platinum Concepts, Inc., a company specializing in technology consumer products. Both authors live in San Francisco, California. Visit their website at www.mousedriver.com. John Lusk spent four years as a management consultant in the Information Technology Group at Ernst & Young. In 1997, he enrolled in the Wharton School of Business, where he met Kyle Harrison. Together they founded Platinum Concepts, Inc., a company specializing in technology consumer products. Both authors live in San Francisco, California. Visit their website at www.mousedriver.com.
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