The Self-Made Billionaire Effect : How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value
by John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen

Overview - In honor of The Self-Made Billionaire Effect purchases, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is making a significant contribution to , an online charity that connects public school teachers in need of classroom materials and experiences with individual donors who want to help.  Read more...

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More About The Self-Made Billionaire Effect by John Sviokla; Mitch Cohen
In honor ofThe Self-Made Billionaire Effectpurchases, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is making a significant contribution to, an online charity that connects public school teachers in need of classroom materials and experiences with individual donors who want to help. PwC's gift will support financial literacy projects around the country.
Imagine what Atari might have achieved if Steve Jobs had stayed there to develop the first massmarket personal computer. Or what Steve Case might have done for PepsiCo if he hadn t left for a gaming start-up that eventually became AOL. What if Salomon Brothers had kept Michael Bloomberg, or Bear Stearns had exploited the inventive ideas of Stephen Ross?

Scores of top-tier entrepreneurs worked for established corporations before they struck out on their own and became self-made billionaires. People like Mark Cuban, John Paul DeJoria, Sara Blakely, and T. Boone Pickens all built businesses in some cases, multiple businesses that are among today s most iconic brands. This fact raises two profound questions: Why couldn t their former employers hang on to to these extraordinarily talented people? And why are most big companies unable to create as much new value as the world s roughly 800 self-made billionaires?

John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen decided to look more closely at self-made billionaires because creating $1 billion or more in value is an incredible feat. Drawing on extensive research and interviews, the authors concluded that many of the myths perpetuated about billionaires are simply not true. These billionaires aren t necessarily smarter, harder working, or luckier than their peers. They aren t all prodigies, crossing the billionaire finish line in their twenties. Nor, most of the time, do they create something brand-new: More than 80 percent of the billionaires in the research sample earned their billions in highly competitive industries.

The key difference is what the authors call the Producer mind-set, in contrast with the far more pervasive Performer mind-set. Performers strive to excel in well-defined areas, and are important. But Producers are critical to any company looking to create massive value because they redefine what s possible, rather than simply meeting preexisting goals and standards. Combining sound judgment with imaginative vision, Producers think up entirely new products, services, strategies, and business models.

Big companies tend to reward Performers and discourage the unconventional ways of Producers. But it s the latter who integrate multiple ideas, perspectives, and actions, and who trust their insights enough to make game-changing bets.
This book breaks down the five critical habits of mind of massive value-creators, so you can learn how to identify, encourage, and retain such individuals and maybe even become one yourself. The Self-made Billionaire Effect will forever change the way you think about talent and business value.


  • ISBN-13: 9781591847632
  • ISBN-10: 159184763X
  • Publisher: Portfolio
  • Publish Date: December 2014
  • Page Count: 256
  • Reading Level: Ages 18-UP

Related Categories

Books > Business & Economics > Personal Success
Books > Business & Economics > Organizational Behavior
Books > Business & Economics > Management - General

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-11-03
  • Reviewer: Staff

Who wants to be a billionaire? And how, exactly, does that happen? The second question is what Sviokla and Cohen explore in this in-depth examination of the traits that self-made billionaires share. The authors set up a research team at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where both of them work, to study a randomly selected sample of 120 such moguls. The results dispel some common misconceptions, like that recently minted billionaires tend to be young and in the tech industry; in fact, fewer than 20% of the sample group came from this sector. According to Sviokla and Cohen, the people they surveyed– including such well-known names as Joe Mansueto from investment research firm MorningH; Sara Blakeley from Spanx; and Chip Wilson from Lululemon– typically differed from other high achievers in that they mastered multiple skills, not just one. The book's most helpful insights, however, are into creating corporate cultures that will promote the same type of behavior exhibited by billionaires. Its prose is, at times, overly jargon-filled: "the job of leadership in promoting Producer-friendly culture change is to put a wrapper of legitimacy around non-traditional activity." The ideas, meanwhile, aren't always as specific as they should be. Still, this ambitious book deserves a few hours' worth of attention from equally ambitious readers. (Dec.)

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