View Full Version : Gopher-preneur book of the month, Sept. '04

09-01-2004, 04:43 PM
Overnight Success: Federal Express and Fredrick Smith, Its Renegade Creator (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0517585103/qid=1094072730/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-8999985-6012001?v=glance&s=books) By Vance Trimble


In 1965, Yale University undergraduate Frederick W. Smith wrote a term paper about the passenger route systems used by most airfreight shippers, which he viewed as economically inadequate. According to this book, Frederick received the grade of a "C" on his paper. It's a good thing he didn't let that get to him. Remember Albert Einstein's famous quote "If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it."
You may wonder where he got the start up money for such a company. Well Frederick's father in 1931 started the Dixie Greyhound Bus Lines which consolidated in 1960 into Southern Division of Greyhound. This left Frederick with millions of start up dollars to get his dream of Federal Express off the ground.
This book really takes the reader through a great adventurous story. Very few businesses are ever easy to get started and up and running. Here is an excerpt from the book on the first night the planes flew back to their home airport. Everyone was excited to see if this was going to be a success or flop.
"Right after midnight the Falcons swooped in. Their cargo doors were flung open-on emptiness.
"It was a bust," Mike Fitzgerald remembers. "We could see what was wrong. We didn't have enough cities. And people hadn't heard of us."
In all, the Falcons brought six packages. One was a birthday present from Fred Smith to Irby Tedder, and one was a bundle of dirty laundry sent home by the FedEx salesman in Kansas City."
Now can you imagine at that point if Fred took this as meaning it wasn't going to work? None of us would now be able to ship packages through his company. Remember this if you ever find yourself pausing for a moment to decide if your business will work. Remember Fred and then think it can and it will! Focus on what you need to improve!

Thanks Fred for sticking to it.

Here is a great page (http://www.islandconnections.com/edit/smith.htm) to visit to read a little more about him.

09-01-2004, 05:03 PM
Here is a photo of their original Falcon jets. You could actually hand the packages right through the door.

09-01-2004, 05:04 PM
Here is a photo of their Airbus A300-600. Now you need a lift to get the packages in and out.