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1,000 Dollars and an Idea: Entrepreneur to…

1,000 Dollars and an Idea: Entrepreneur to Billionaire

by Sam Wyly

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Self-made billionaire Sam Wyly is a natural storyteller. In this expanded edition of his memoir, he recounts his experiences establishing and expanding companies on the leading edge of advancements in technology, energy, retail, and investments over the last five decades. From the hardships his family faced trying to hold on to their cotton farm during the Depression to the coaching he received on the high school football field, Wyly describes how his early years in Louisiana prepared him for what lay ahead.

Risking $1,000 of his savings, Wyly founded University Computing in 1963 and took it public two years later, becoming a millionaire at the age of thirty. Throughout this book, he reveals the decisions and strategies behind his many business successes, including founding Sterling Software, growing the small chains of Michaels Stores and Bonanza Steakhouses into nationwide brands, and founding Green Mountain Energy, the largest provider of cleaner energy in America today.

Wyly also discusses the "Great Crash of 2008" in historical perspective, offering insights on our current financial crisis and the path to recovery—including the importance of green energy for the future.
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  walterlehmann | Dec 1, 2015 |
This is a quick enjoyable read - for the most part.

I found the biographical elements of Wyly's from poverty to multi-millions to be fascinating reading.

However, the sections where he goes into great detail regarding business deals made my eyes glaze over.

Lessons learned - pursue your passions, work hard - very hard, and hook up with rising stars. ( )
  Scarchin | Nov 12, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As others have pointed out, Wyly was more lucky than clever. As someone who hopes to one day be an entrepreneur, I didn't feel there was enough substance in the book for me to follow. ( )
  jameskennemore | May 22, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I liked reading this book, but I found it to be formulaic and repetitive. However, I respect the drive and vision of Sam Wyly as presented in the book, especially his foresight in technology. I think his story could be presented in a better way, but I am uncertain about how this could be done. If one were looking to define an average or middle of the pack level of expectations for an entreprenurial success story, this book would likely fit the bill. ( )
  meklarian | Sep 11, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had some expectations before reading this book, but I'm not really sure what to walk away with. It's always nice to hear someone rags-to-riches story, but there were times I thought Wyly was more lucky then clever. As someone who hopes to one day be an entrepreneur, I didn't feel there was enough substance in the book for me to follow. ( )
  forkyfork | Aug 8, 2009 |
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Traces the rags-to-riches story of a Louisiana self-made billionaire, from his efforts to put himself through school and his entry into the millionaire leagues after investing in a computer utility company to his creations of highly profitable companies and his dedication to green energy. $250,000 ad/promo.… (more)

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