It all started late one night at The Ginger Man, a popular restaurant in Dallas, Texas. Using the back of a beer coaster and the bartender's pen, Kyle Harrison, in a moment of inspiration, began sketching an unusual computer mouse, shaped like the head of a driver golf club. He took the idea with him to the Wharton School of Business, where he managed to impress his roommate, John Lusk. Upon graduation, they bravely but somewhat naïvely set forth to launch their company, Platinum Concepts, Inc., and its flagship product, MouseDriver™. Settling in San Francisco in an apartment that doubled as home and worldwide business headquarters, they had a front-row seat to the dot-com boom-watching their classmates rake in piles of cash and stock options, while they financed their venture with their own credit cards.The MouseDriver™ Chronicles is the riveting, one-of-a-kind narrative that chronicles their entrepreneurial journey. It takes us behind the scenes of the authors' tumultuous first two years of business, years marked by endless corporate cold calling, multiple failed attempts to find a distributor, and even a typhoon that derailed their very first shipment of MouseDrivers.A must-read for anyone who wants to start a business or wonders what it is like to do so, The MouseDriver™ Chronicles will inform, inspire, and renew our faith in the American spirit to succeed against all odds.
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.