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The Power of Positive Destruction

Book Description

It's no longer good enough to build a company to last; today it's about building a company to ignite change. The Power of Positive Destruction reveals how to start a new business, disrupt an industry, and adapt to changing environments by leveraging technology and a new mindset.

Serial entrepreneur Seth Merrin has built businesses by seeing issues with the status quo and introducing positive changes that have disrupted—and revolutionized—industries. In this book, he breaks down his process step-by-step to show you what you need to know to successfully start a company and transform an industry. Merrin's incredible story, coupled with real, actionable advice, will resonate with anyone who wants to be a catalyst of change. With this book, readers will learn to see the inefficiencies, ineptitudes, and everyday problems that others dismiss as the cost of doing business and create "unfair competitive advantages" to stack the deck—and win. You'll see how problems in current business models are really opportunities of which to take advantage and learn what you need to know and do to seize those opportunities —no matter where you work.

Seth Merrin saw Wall Street as it was, then built a company to turn it into what it could be—safer and more efficient for investors. This book shows you how he did it, and how you can too, with the power of positive destruction.

  • Discover how to turn status quo into disruption
  • Understand how to stack the deck in your favor to achieve the best possible chances of success
  • Learn how to build and run a company and design a culture for constant change
  • Acquire new skills to create strategy, sell your disruptive product or service, and negotiate effectively

Technology and innovation can disrupt or transform any industry. It's happening faster and more broadly now than ever, creating myriad opportunities for everyone. But winning in this new world is not easy. The incumbents will fight mightily against it and even those who would benefit from change may first express fear. This book reveals the techniques from identifying the opportunities to designing and executing the strategy you'll need to succeed. With The Power of Positive Destruction you can to tap into your inner change agent and transform your company, your industry, and the world.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. About the Authors
  3. Introduction: Problems and Opportunities Are Two Sides of a Coin
  4. PART 1: THE IDEA
    1. Chapter 1: Any Industry Can Be Disrupted—Positively
      1. The Next Great Idea Comes from Anywhere
      2. Where Can You Find the Edge?
      3. What’s Israel and Irrigation Got to Do with It?
      4. Notes
    2. Chapter 2: Ask WTF
      1. When Opportunity Knocks, Take It
      2. If You Find the Problem, Find the Solution
      3. Business Is Just a Set of Problems to Solve
      4. Notes
  5. PART 2: LEADING THE INNOVATION
    1. Chapter 3: Create an Unfair Competitive Advantage
      1. Stacking the Deck
      2. Getting Started on My Own
      3. Learning on the Job Is One Way to Do It . . .
      4. Price Right
      5. Out of Control
      6. Beyond Your Control
      7. If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail
      8. Sell, Sell, Sell
      9. What I did wrong and what I learned for next time
      10. Notes
    2. Chapter 4: What Do I Do Now?
      1. It’s So Easy to Get Disrupted
      2. The Curse of the S Curve
      3. The Best Way to Predict the Future Is to Invent It
      4. Our S Curve
      5. Just Say No
      6. Notes
    3. Chapter 5: Business Is a Series of Problems to Solve
      1. Don’t Invest In Something You Know Nothing About
      2. Show Me the Money
      3. Know When to Pack It In
      4. You Can Learn a Lot from Failing
      5. Notes
    4. Chapter 6: Develop Your Unique Selling Proposition
      1. Learn from Others’ Failures
      2. Validate Your Idea with “Smart Money”
      3. Building Credibility Circles
      4. Overcoming the No-Go Issues
      5. The $100 Million Question
      6. Make It Super Simple
      7. Note
  6. PART 3: SHAKING UP THE MARKET
    1. Chapter 7: Launching a Company Is Both Art and Science
      1. Old Habits Are Hard to Break
      2. How to Get the First Customers to Sign: Sell in Groups
      3. Technology—It Gets Better with Age
      4. Expect the Unexpected
      5. Things You Don’t Learn in Business School
      6. Membership Has Its Privileges
      7. Grow Quickly or Die
      8. Note
    2. Chapter 8: Negotiation Skills: Can’t Be in Business without Them
      1. Choose Your Board Members Wisely
      2. Becoming Relevant
      3. Welcome New Members
      4. When Everyone Hates You
      5. Cultivating Friends
      6. Don’t Just Catch Up—Leapfrog
      7. Walk Away
      8. It Was the Best of Times
  7. PART 4: DRIVING THE REVOLUTION
    1. Chapter 9: No Tree Grows to the Sky
      1. Call in Connections
      2. The Thing About Market Forces
      3. Remember the Ripple Effect
      4. What to Do When Things Go South
      5. Don’t Mortgage the Future for the Present
      6. The Times They Are A-Changin’
      7. Notes
    2. Chapter 10: If You Don’t Make Mistakes, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough
      1. It’s All About the People
      2. You Can’t Have It All
      3. When Even the Silver Lining Is Lead
      4. Tell the Truth
      5. When Nothing Will Ever Be the Same
      6. The Worst of Crises Can Fuel the Fight
      7. Notes
    3. Chapter 11: Culture by Design or Culture by Default
      1. If You Don’t Fully Trust Employees, Let Them Go
      2. Admit the Brutal Facts
      3. Hire Partners, Not Employees
      4. No Titles . . .
      5. No Ties . . .
      6. . . . and No Assholes
      7. Invest in People
      8. Constant Improvement Must Be Part of the Culture
      9. Repair the World
      10. It’s Not a Zero-Sum Game
      11. Appendix The Liquidnet Interview: Cultural Fit Questions
      12. The Liquidnet Experience
      13. Other
  8. Afterword: You Can Invent the Future
  9. Index
  10. EULA