SHARPER IMAGE SUCCESS: BUSINESS LESSONS FROM AMERICA’S GADGET GUY
A famous CEO and entrepreneur offers his observations about life and business.
Thalheimer, the founder and former CEO of The Sharper Image when it was dominating its corner of the retail market—$750 million a year in revenues, 200 stores, 4,000 employees, and, of course, the famous catalog—now runs The Sharper Fund, a private investment fund. In these pages, he conveys all the lessons he’s learned along the way on matters large and small, everything from relevant technology to hiring and firing, cash flow, corporate savings, and many aspects of customer service. As he touches on each of these subjects, the author draws on his long experience in order to dispense some insights—acknowledging upfront that his fellow entrepreneurs at any level of development will find some of these tips more useful than others. “Short and personal (but not too personal) conversations keep you in touch with the human side of the people you work with,” he writes at one point, spelling out what might otherwise be taken as a given. “Check in with them every month or so.” Thalheimer’s tone is brisk and very inviting; he comes across as an ideal boss, the type readers may have dreamed of encountering, the kind who’s always open to chatting and yet is still firm in leading. Readers of this category of business literature will be prepared for bromides, and they’ll certainly encounter plenty of them here. Like most CEOs looking back on their early endeavors, the author often resorts to truisms, such as “When you start, you need people around you who get things done,” and “It is crucial that you treat suppliers with respect.” Both the obvious observations and the original tips are always couched in a friendly, authoritative tone—Thalheimer is certainly correct in predicting that even experienced entrepreneurs will find thought-provoking ideas in these pages.
A forceful, helpful, and smoothly readable collection of nuggets of CEO wisdom for entrepreneurs.