Strategies Roundup 08/08
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You've Been Served
By Andrea Poe
Facing a lawsuit? Hold tight, and use the situation to your advantage.
Within weeks of its June 2007 launch, Seattle-based Avvo, a website that rates lawyers, was sued by two attorneys who objected to the com-pany's rating system. The irony wasn't lost on the press, which ran with the story. Avvo suddenly found itself catapulted onto the pages of The Wall Street Journal and other high-profile publications.
Founder and CEO Mark Britton, 41, hired lawyers to fight the legal case but took on the media himself. "We had to fight back to dispel the misinformation that was floating around," says Britton. "Avvo was a new company, and we didn't want the disgruntled lawyers defining who we were to the public."
In December, a judge dismissed the case against Avvo. Britton breathed a sigh of relief--and grabbed the phone. "This time, the media coverage was positive," he says. "Although I definitely wouldn't recommend being sued, the silver lining is that without the litigation, Avvo would never have gotten all the publicity it did." And the publicity has helped: Avvo already has 22 employees and is looking at a bright future.
By Mark Henricks
In the hit book Reengineering the Corporation, co-author Jim Champy details a comprehensive overhaul of fundamental business practices. His latest book, Outsmart! (Financial Times Press, $22.99), reveals counterintuitive lessons on finding sustainable advantages, uncovering opportunities and other tricks. The book provides case studies of companies that have maintained extremely high growth rates over several years. Nuggets in this highly readable how-to include admonitions to focus on customers rather than competitors and to do more of what you already do best rather than searching for new ideas.
In The Answer (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, $25.95), John Assaraf and Murray Smith apply the theme from the blockbuster movie and book The Secret to business success. It goes from edgy topics, like the relationship between quantum physics and entrepreneurship, to more practical matters, such as describing common distributing channels for major industries. But most pages cover how to dramatically change your business by changing your thoughts with affirmations, visioning and meditation. If you suspect that your limits lie mostly inside yourself, this book could help you break free.