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The Making of a Blockbuster: How Wayne Huizenga Built a Sports and Entertainment Empire from Trash, Grit, and Videotape

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471159032
ISBN-10: 0471159034
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Huizenga embodies the proverbial rags-to-riches story. With $5000 in borrowed money, he bought a broken-down garbage truck and a small collection route. Huizenga built this small enterprise into Waste Management, a global garbage empire, and then sold out. Next, he bought into a small-time video operation named Blockbuster that eventually grew into an entertainment conglomerate. Along the way, he has purchased the Miami Dolphins football team, the Florida Marlins baseball team, and the Florida Panthers hockey club. Author DeGeorge's account of Huizenga's career is interesting at first, but one can only listen to so many instances of buying businesses for next to nothing and later selling them for millions. Joseph Campanella is a wonderful narrator and breathes life into this unabashed account of unrestrained greed. Purchase where wannabe entrepreneurs roam the stacks.
Ray Vignovich, West Des Moines P.L., Ia.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The many media accounts profiling Huizenga have dubbed him "Midas." Everything he touches seems to turn to gold, and he has made (and never lost) three separate fortunes. He cofounded what is now WMX Technologies, the world's largest waste-management service company. After leaving there, he took control of Blockbuster Entertainment, overseeing its phenomenal growth. Last year he sold the video retailing giant to Viacom. In the meantime, he purchased three Florida professional sports teams and built a 2,500-acre theme park on the edge of the Everglades. Since stepping down last year as Blockbuster's CEO, he had been out of the news, but he resurfaced late this summer with the purchase of Republic Waste, another waste-management firm. That company's stock soared 766 percent on the news that Huizenga had taken over. DeGeorge, Business Week's Miami bureau manager, has covered Blockbuster and Huizenga for nearly 10 years, and recounts all this with prodigious detail. Her book will certainly appeal to those who are fascinated by entrepreneurial success stories. David Rouse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (January 31, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471159034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471159032
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
That's the return an investor in Blockbuster in Jan. 1987 would have had. And for Wayne's investment, $17.5 million, that grew to $600 million in 7 years.

This is a truly intriguing story of how Wayne (and team) built TWO multi billion dollar companies, Blockbuster Entertainment and Waste Management. The author, Gail does a great job of taking you through Wayne's early days when all of his garbage company's credit lines were exhausted and meeting the day to day expenses were a struggle, up to the point that he realized that the best bet was to go public so he could use the stock as currency for rapid expansion. And rapidly expand he did. In the 10 months between March and December 1972, Waste Management bought 133 different businesses.

During his forays in the water business Wayne and his right hand man Steve Berrard scooped up 16 water companies in eight months, going from zero to the thirteenth largest bottled water company in the nation, which was sold to Clorox for a profit of $16 million within 3 years.

Berrard's deal making skills:
-Don't paint yourself into a corner
-Never say anything that won't let you come back in the front door
-Don't say something is a deal breaker
-A deal is never dead if you don't let it die
-Always let the other side set the initial price
-Always leave room to back up
-Recognize what the other side really wants out of a deal
-Know when to walk
-Don't take no for an answer

Talking about Blockbuster Wayne would point out that the stores were paying for themselves in roughly 3 years from the cash flow. (mental not for business buyers)

As anyone who reads my other reviews or my blog knows, I zero in on the structure of the deals mentioned in the book.
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Format: Paperback
This book tells the story of a guy w/ modest means and how he created two of the best businesses in U.S history starting w/ nothing. This is not just some ego pumping motivational biography. This book tells you exactly what is required of you if your goal is to build a business starting from scratch and putting everything together working over 100 hours per week and eventually listing your company on the NYSE and becoming a billionaire. Wayne is the ultimate deal maker, and you can see very clearly in these pages how one can reach the highest levels of business succes through extremely hard work, and single minded determination and drive. Bottom line if you want to know what it really takes to build a 2.5 billion dollar net worth and get your name on the Forbes 400, and also building an international multi billion dollar company from scratch... well than spend your money on this book you won't be dissapointed... Blake bldgassets247@yahoo.com
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By A Customer on October 30, 1997
Format: Audio Cassette
It's not that the effort wasn't there or that the subject wasn't interesting but the style was rough. It does seem gushy at points and is a jumble of facts. I love Huizenga's story and do think the book is a worthwhile read, but the lack of smooth flow in the storytelling is distracting.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have now read this book again for the third time. Great overview of Mr. Huizenga's business achievements. I wish the author would have gotten into more detail about how he runs a business etc; but overall a great book, that I highly recommend.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book that shows the natural born ability of a deal maker. This book shows how Wayne can spot a business that has a lot of potential and take it over to make it a giant. This was a great book,

B. Fitz
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