How Did I Get Here?: The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO Hardcover – 22 Oct 2010
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‘…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 iteven 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 enterprisesfrom 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 successeverything from brand strategy to the real meaning of "Boom Boom HuckJam"as Tony answers the question How Did I Get Here?See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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?Read more ›
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