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The Self-Made Billionaire Effect

How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value

By John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen
12-minute read
Audio available
The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect (2014) reveals the secrets behind the world’s most successful companies and entrepreneurs. These blinks show that it isn’t luck, age or external factors that got some of the world’s wealthiest people where they are today. Find out how self-made billionaires became masters of duality by integrating imagination and design, and juggling opposing ideas.

  • Entrepreneurs looking for fresh ideas and perspectives
  • Anyone interested in billionaire success stories
  • People looking for successful business tips

Dr. John J. Sviokla is the head of Global Thought Leadership at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has written for the Harvard Business Review, Strategy + Business and The Wall Street Journal. He also taught at the Harvard Business School for 12 years.

Mitch Cohen is a vice-chairman at PricewaterhouseCoopers. During his career, he has served a number of Fortune 500 clients. He also serves on the Advisory Board for Penn State University's Smeal College of Business.

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The Self-Made Billionaire Effect

How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value

By John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen
Synopsis

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect (2014) reveals the secrets behind the world’s most successful companies and entrepreneurs. These blinks show that it isn’t luck, age or external factors that got some of the world’s wealthiest people where they are today. Find out how self-made billionaires became masters of duality by integrating imagination and design, and juggling opposing ideas.

Key idea 1 of 7

Self-made billionaires excel at juggling multiple ideas and perspectives.

What does it take to be a billionaire these days? To reach such heights, you have to approach your goal very differently than the average entrepreneur. In a constantly changing world, you no longer have the luxury of focusing on one thing at a time; you have to learn how to juggle multiple ideas.

Self-made billionaires maintain multiple ideas and perspectives, both big and small, at all times. Most people and companies will try to focus on one thing at a time to avoid complications. But others, like Bill Gates, achieve their success by operating in an environment of dualities, managing multiple ideas and actions simultaneously.

Bill Gates demonstrates not only the success of handling multiple ideas, but also of juggling multiple companies at the same time. It’s a little known fact that while running Microsoft, Gates also started Corbis, a photo and video licensing company, as well as Cascade Investment, a holding and investment company.

This mindset of embracing duality, of juggling different ideas and investments at the same time, are common among producers. These are people who have a clear vision and bring innovative ideas to the table. Producers can unite the right kinds of people and know how to use all their resources to their advantage.

On the other side of coin are the performers. These are talented and highly specialized people who excel in a specific field.

We can look at Lynda and Stewart Resnick, the couple behind the successful juice company POM Wonderful, as an example of how producers and performers work together successfully.

Lynda is a natural born producer who brought together all her skills to identify a great product and create the right marketing strategy to sell it. Stewart is the performer who balances the budget and oversees the company’s operations and finances. This way, Stewart can keep Lynda in check if she goes overboard in the creative department and can make sure the company continues to make a profit.

Rather than focusing on one idea at a time, self-made billionaires embrace the power of duality. The following blinks will reveal the five most important dualities.

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