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How Did I Get Here?: The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO Hardcover – 22 Oct 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (22 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047063149X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470631492
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 899,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

‘…entertaining review of his entrepreneurial endeavours .’  (Business Life, December 2010). This is no sham celebrity business book…packed with lessons for entrepreneurs.’  (Director, December 2010).

From the Inside Flap

When Tony Hawk got his first skateboard at age nine, he had no intention of ever making a living at it—even as he rocketed up the sport′s amateur ranks. And of course he had no idea he would become the most famous skateboarder of all time, let alone the head of several successful related businesses. The same focus that drove him to pick himself up off the pavement again and again, that kept him riding through skating′s lean times, and that fueled his celebrated ten–year quest to land the elusive 900 (two–and–a–half midair rotations), also helped him build his brand into a worldwide empire.

From skateboards to clothing to sports tours to video games to online media, Tony Hawk has dominated markets with a laid–back style that masks his formidable business sense. Now, in How Did I Get Here?, Tony reveals the convictions that enable him to navigate between the skateboard and the boardroom.

How Did I Get Here? takes you back to Tony′s first business, the still–thriving Birdhouse Skateboards, which he and a friend started long before he had mainstream fame. He describes the lessons he learned (some of them hard) building Birdhouse on little more than a home–equity loan and the street cred he′d gained within the tight skating subculture of the ′80s. You′ll also find out how, by staying true to his passion and his instincts, he′s been able to build his businesses into a global juggernaut.

Whether working with tiny skate shops or national chains like Kohl′s, Tony found long–term success by insisting on authenticity. You′ll see how he very consciously brings skating′s homegrown style, DIY ethos, and underground heroes to each of his enterprises—from start–up Web sites to mega–selling video games. True to Tony′s twisted sense of humor, How Did I Get Here? also doesn′t flinch from what didn′t work (pink backpacks, anyone?), recounting his entrepreneurial mishaps in gruesome detail.

Tony Hawk is living proof that you can stay close to your roots while going big in business. Discover the secrets to his success—everything from brand strategy to the real meaning of "Boom Boom HuckJam"—as Tony answers the question How Did I Get Here?

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Firstly I thought I was buying a book by Tony Hawks so you can imagine my dismay when I found I had made a mistake. Secondly it cost me nearly £10.00 so I wouldn't have bought it anyway. Thirdly when I tried to read it it was so boring. I kept wanting to say 'who cares.' It is a bit of a love fest between different members of his family. Also I thought that that list of acknowledgments was excessive and tedious. .
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Format: Hardcover
Trust famous professional skateboarder Tony Hawk to take you on a zooming journey in this autobiographical spin that whirls from his first wheels to his chief executive desk. He discusses his background through colorful personal experiences and offers business advice on "how to sell celebrity...without selling out." Hawk peppers his book with amusing short stories and email snippets from both ardent enthusiasts and ranting critics. His casual, honest, good-humored personality spills onto the page, but expect to be inspired rather than educated. Although some of his career advice seems far off or irrelevant for the typical entrepreneur, his book certainly contains useful marketing advice. getAbstract applauds Hawk's energized spirit and recommends his saga to advertising managers, marketing directors, individuals with avant-garde dreams of reaching the top, and, of course, adrenaline junkies - because it's not just a read, it's a ride.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not a bad book. It was written with a modern tone to target the younger generation. The book was well designed and the graphics convincing. Tony put a lot of effort to produce the book.

However it lacks in depth lessons for young entrepreneurs. The book proved that Tony may be a great entrepreneur but not a good at teaching and mentoring, or he got there by just luck. Hence the book is just a biography of his life with little things to apply to your business.

When I got the book I was excited with the design, layout and presentation but I got to the last chapter still wondering what I have really learnt.

Another issue that was hidden from the book is his personal life. You cannot write a biography and exclude your personal life from it. It is possible there are issues that were not in order in Tony’s life and had not dealt with them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book he tal all about his life
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Format: Hardcover
Having two sons who used to watch that awful show, Jackass, I know who Tony Hawk is, and can understand how he's become such an icon in both sports and entertainment. How can you not like a guy riding a bike through a loop de loop, into the ocean, wearing a chicken suit? Not taking himself too seriously seems to be his attitude, and he explains how that has worked for him in this new book, How Did I Get Here? You can almost hear him laugh as he asks that, as his business smarts and wise choices have made him one of the wealthiest non-mainstream sports personas out there despite his low-key image.

As a franchise, he's been successful, seeming to catch on to pop culture trends (like Twitter) early on and manipulating them successfully. Raising a family as well as his business hasn't been easy, but mistakes that were made were usually overshadowed by successes soon after. A team mentality endures in Tony Hawk Inc., which sponsors skate boarding and other sports events as well as designing merchandise to market to fans. Some considered him a sell-out for selling Tony Hawk bedspreads for little kids, but he justifies it expertly, explaining that given the popularity of skateboarding, somebody was going to make little kids bedspreads with skateboards no matter what, so why not do it and make them cool? This justification goes on into his endorsement of numerous other products.

Going beyond the fame though, he also creates the Tony Hawk Foundation that raises money for different nonprofits and assists low-income areas to create community centers for skating as a means of socialization, positive peer influence (yes, but while he hangs out with Bam Margera!), and exercise.

So, does the book offer savvy business advice for other wannabe entrepreneurs?
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