By Bill Ferris
Publication by means of Ferris, invoice
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Additional resources for Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Thrills and Spills in Venture Capital
This cash requirement diverted SJA and sank the original SJA store rollout plan. The original attractive core proposition had been replaced by a fundamentally unsound one. An overstretched management team was very quickly out of its depth. The struggle to deliver rationalisation and economies ensued for several years; sadly, this struggle diminished the effectiveness of both organisations rather than creating an integrated new one with hybrid vigour. I recall an experience five years earlier when I was CEO of NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED 24 Barlow Marine, a yacht fittings manufacturer.
John did not last long working for others and left to start Austal Ships Pty Ltd in 1987. Curiously, this was the same year that I incorporated Australian Mezzanine Investments with my 50/50 partner, Joe Skrzynski. While 1987 is notorious for the spectacular stock market crash, I think the stars were somehow well aligned for those of us forming new businesses that year. The Austal founding shareholders were the same team that had worked together previously. In addition to John there were two hands-on aluminium welding and fabrication guys, Gary Heys and Kevin Stanley, plus a brilliant young naval architect, Chris Norman.
In his late forties, Hank was a handsome and hard-driving operator, the quintessential salesman with that motivational can-do North American style. Hank could make his sales people feel as if they had filled their quotas even before they left the weekly sales meetings. He believed, so they believed. Hank’s attractive brunette wife featured in the television commercials promoting the company’s services, and she was actively and effectively engaged in sales and sales training. They were a formidable team.
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Thrills and Spills in Venture Capital by Bill Ferris