BOOK REVIEW: How to satisfy that entrepreneurial itch
Special to the Nevada Appeal
One would think Bob Thomas of Carson City has done enough for the world.
After all he’s been on the Carson City School Board, the Nevada Employee-Management Relations Board, the Nevada Welfare Board, served three terms in the Legislature and was founder and the first chairman of the Carson City Airport Authority.
In between, he had time to raise a family and write many editorial columns for the Nevada Appeal, most of them critical of the way business and politics were done in Nevada. He was seldom satisfied with the way things were.
And, by the way, he took time out to found two companies that are successful enterprises. He has written before about these companies and how they came about, but apparently wasn’t quite satisfied that he had spread his message of business entrepreneurship wide enough.
So now comes “Creating a World Class Company, a Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit” (Xlibris Corp., 316 pages).
Thomas was an aerospace engineer with Northrop and North American Aviation before he decided to go out on his own. He invited a circle of professional friends to join in his venture, UNI-LOC.
The concept was a company that would solve the problems of the large-scale air conditioning industry.
He insisted that those who joined with him be able to live on savings or assets for 18 months with no income from the new company.
He also refused to seek venture capital, deciding to go on what the associates had on hand.
It was never easy, especially dealing in early days when the company was attacked on patent infringement, but the group pulled it off and eventually had more than 400 employees with a solid future.
Of course, a small, successful company always attracts the big fish, but Thomas and his crew held out for a special kind of deal where they would continue to run the company after the sale.
Their compensation would depend on how well UNI-LOC continued to do. And it did very well, what with stock options and performance awards. The company continues to do well as part of Emerson, a Fortune 500 company, as Rosemount Analytical, as does his other company. Today he is on the board of directors of two more high-growth companies.
Thomas has written two earlier books on the same subject, but this is the detailed, full story about how he went about making his company world class.
He includes lists of things to do and those not to do which in themselves are pretty good rules for a successful entrepreneur.
Thomas doesn’t waste time bragging about his victories as some business writers do; he goes straight to the point of how he did it and how the reader can, too.
Does Thomas guarantee success if you adopt his formula?
No, impossible considering how things change. But he gives you a pretty good chance of making it on your own – without venture capital or Uncle Bill’s investment check.
If you would like to preview some of his book free, go to his website, http://www.worldclass
It’s available from Amazon and on e-books such as Kindle as well as with Xlibris (610) 915-0294 or (888) 795-4274, ext. 7876) and local book stores. Hard cover price is $22.99, soft cover $15.99.