May 25 2006

Verne Harnish on Managing Growth

Will Price at Hummer Winblad has a really nice blog post up on a speech he attended by Verne Harnish the other day

Verne is a long time friend, extremely captivating and insightful speaker, and a guy who has been around entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship forever.  I first met Verne in 1990 at the first Inc. Magazine / MIT Entrepreneur Forum / YEO Birthing of Giants Conference. This was a conference that Verne created for founders of companies under the age of 40 with at least $1 million of annual revenue.  My company was four years old, we’d just broken the $1m mark, had 12 employees, and I was struggling with all of the normal startup issues.  In four days, I met 59 other people, many of whom became close friends, who were either struggling with or had struggled with similar stuff.  This was also my introduction to a long standing involvement with YEO.  I remember driving home from Endicott House thinking “Holy Shit, I Am Not Alone.” 

When Amy and I moved to Boulder in 1995, Verne was the only guy we knew living there.  He and his wife Julie moved away shortly after we showed up, leaving us friendless in Boulder, but only for a brief period of time.  Over the years, I’ve seen Verne periodically, but every time I see something like what Will wrote up, I remember how amazingly great Verne is at standing in front of a group of people and talking about the issues that entrepreneurs deal with.

If you ever have a chance to hear Verne talk, take it.  If not, grab his book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Fast-Growth Firm – it’s great roughage for any entrepreneur’s diet.