Gary Hoover, co-founder of Hoovers.com (bought by Dunn and Bradstreet for $119 million) and the Bookstop store chain that Barnes & Noble bought to be part of their multibillion-dollar book empire, appeared on the Hidden Profit Path show. Hoover’s latest venture is called Bigwig Games.
One of the things Hoover revealed during the interview was his belief that he’s probably the youngest Fortune subscriber they’ve ever had in their history. He tells the story of being with his brother and sister at the newsstand when he was around 12 years old.
His sister was looking at horse magazines. His brother was looking at sports and airplane magazines. Gary’s eyes and mind were far ahead of their time. He happened to spy the Fortune richest people issue. He was hooked.
He begged his parents to buy him a Fortune subscription. They dissuaded him thinking it was just a passing whim. But he persisted until his parents relented and bought him his subscription to Fortune, though he was only 12 years old.
That was the start of his business journey. He said he’s always been fascinated by business and considers himself a business historian.
During the interview, Hoover reveals something that frustrates so many entrepreneurs, “People love it, still fails – Travel Fast Superstores people loved. We did double our revenue projections. But the airlines pulled the rug out, no longer paying commissions we were counting on. I went into over $1 million personal debt attempting to save the company and the jobs.”
Another frustrating outside factor Hoover talks about during the interview, “Too far ahead — like when Bill Gates introduced the idea of a tablet in around 2003, Travel Fast Superstores was effectively doing crowd funding in the mid-1990s. This idea was too far ahead of its time.”
He reveals many fascinating things but one especially poignant thing is his origin story in business, “I’ve kept a list of business ideas since I was 12. There are about 300 ideas on it. I keep a tablet in my pocket because all the cool and even mundane things I see spark ideas at the most unexpected times. I’ve learned to capture those when inspiration strikes.”
There is much wisdom to be gleaned from a man who has a well-documented interest in business going back over 50 years. His results of selling two separate businesses for multiple millions of dollars speak to what he’s achieved in business.
See Gary’s latest venture http://BigWigGames.com
Listen to this episode of Hidden Profit Path on Oct 28th here:
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