At twenty-seven, Bo Peabody was an Internet multi-millionaire. In the heady days of the late 1990s, though, when every cool kid had an IPO, that wasn’t very remarkable. What is remarkable is that he’s even more successful today. He has co-founded five different companies, in varied industries, and made them thrive during the best and worst of economic times. Through it all, the one question everyone asks is: Was it his smarts that made him an entrepreneurial leader, or was it just plain luck? The truth is, Bo was smart enough to know when he was getting lucky. And he wants you to have the same advantage.
With proven methods for success and a witty, conversational voice, Bo takes the reader through the lessons his experiences as an entrepreneur have taught him. At the heart of Bo’s manifesto is a mantra that everyone, whether working for a multinational corporation or a solo start-up, should heed: If you want your business to be successful, make sure your work is fundamentally innovative, morally compelling, and philosophically positive.
Lucky or Smart? will teach you how to put yourself in a position to get lucky, create the right situations for success, and take advantage of every opportunity. It is the first truly authentic guide to an entrepreneurial life, a must read for anyone looking for his or her own road to fulfillment.
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BO PEABODY is a well-known entrepreneur. His first company, Tripod, was the eighth-largest site on the Internet when it was sold to Lycos in 1998 for $58 million. With co-founder Matt Harris, he built and raised capital for Village Ventures, which is now a network of fourteen venture funds with more than $250 million to invest in high-growth companies in emerging technology centers around the United States. Bo also co-founded WaterFront Media, Mezze, and Radiovoodoo, three successful (and lucky) start-ups.
Bo has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek, People, and Spin, and speaks about technology and entrepreneurship at conferences and business schools around the world. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with his wife, Caroline, and is on the board of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Prospect Foundation, and the Academy at Charlemont.
For anyone looking to spend an hour or so conversing one-on-one with a successful Internet entrepreneur, Peabody has put his end of that conversation in writing. As founder of a startup, Tripod, Inc.—and a reaper of pre-Internet Bubble riches—Peabody graciously provides his thoughts on how and why he’s been so successful. Heartfelt and conversational in tone, his is a very thin book, reflecting both a lack of ego—Peabody will never be mistaken for Donald Trump—and his belief that entrepreneurs possess limited attention spans. Also, he feels they are better off spending their time building their own businesses rather than reading about others’. While Peabody shares advice on avoiding the mistakes that trip up many would-be entrepreneurs—such as having too much faith in their own press—most of his several dozen pages are spent providing examples of the role luck plays in success, and how smart entrepreneurs work to improve their odds. For instance, he puts great stock in surrounding oneself with ‘A’ students for managers while relying heavily on ‘B’ students to drive innovation. With their penchant for provocative declaration—i.e., that a company’s mission is more important than its business model—Peabody’s theories on management aren’t exactly the stuff of a business school curriculum. Which is only appropriate since he also takes a very dim view of the notion that entrepreneurial skills can be taught or acquired. Peabody believes that entrepreneurship is an aptitude one either possesses from birth or never possesses at all. Ultimately, Peabody speaks to a niche market—entrepreneurs willing to accept that there are no magical formulas for success, just the kind of focus, drive and energy that, if one is lucky, occurs at the right time, in the right place.
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