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Bob Parsons - Learning Is a Competitive Advantage – Phx Growth Summit

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Tue, Oct 25, 2011

The first day of the Fortune Gazelles Growth Summit is an avalanche of information.  I’ve already collected 18 pages of notes containing many incredible insightful ideas for you to apply to your business. 

Here are some highlights from the day just completed:

  • Youngme Moon – Lessons and insights on how companies like Mini and IKEA differentiate themselves.

  • Dan Pink – Three Enduring Motivators – Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose

  • Alan Miltz – Revenue is Vanity, Profit is Sanity, Cash Flow is King. Realize that whenever your bank is putting pressure on you the problem is cash flow.

  • Alexander Osterwalder –The right business model can be the difference between success and failure for exactly the same technology or product.

And finally I thought I’d I write briefly about Bob Parsons, founder of Go Daddy since he built Parsons Technology in Cedar Rapids.  Bob is a master story teller and he started his speed by telling the story of two twin boys one who was an optimist the other a pessimist and the result of their trip to see a psychiatrist.  

The point of this story is if you’re a CEO and you want to be successful you had better be an optimist and looking for that pony.

Parsons provided the colorful story of his childhood and business success.  Bob Parsons go daddy resized 600Fluking 6th grade with Sister Brenda taught him take risks.  Being a marine in Vietnam taught him to quantify the worst outcome, make short term goals taking one day at a time, and you can get through anything.  Parsons admits to not being smart.  He enrolled in the Marine Corp to help him graduate high school.  Yet one thing Parsons never missed was an opportunity to learn from the people around him.  From “Fat Willy” an accounting client he had while working through college he learned if you want to see something get better, watch it, track it and it will always get better [Pearson's Law].  He also learned a valuable lesson from his dad, “If you love something I tells you all its secrets.”   He lost all his savings starting his fledging computer company in 1984 and then again in 1985.  He kept going not because of the money because he loved what he was doing.  His third year his company did $250K, 4th year $2.5 M and 5th year $5M. 

Bob Parsons may not have been book smart [he eventually went to college on the GI Bill.] but he is street smart and a voracious learner.  That’s what Growth Summit's are all about.  Learning as Parsons proves is a competitive advantage in today’s world. 

More from tomorrow’s speakers and then a recap on each of the speakers’ presentations in my blogs to follow this week.   

Topics: Pearsons Law, Growth Summit. Learning, competitive advantage

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

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