Tuesday, January 14, 2014

PioneerStartups and Mr. Silber's Brilliant Business Manuvers


The first step is indeed the most difficult one, so it’s always interesting to read about how successful people got their first big break. What’s even more interesting, however, is to observe how such people then go one to replicate their success, especially in fields other than the one they first started out in. Take the case of one Zalman Silber, for example. Mr. Silber is one of those millionaire-next-door types, the undercover-rich, so to speak. He lives quietly and modestly, but is a success many times over by any estimation. Let’s review his career so far.
Mr. Silber started out like you or me, anyone who works a typical nine-to-five job. His first success was in the employment of others, as one of the top-performing agents for New York Life Insurance. But he didn’t go on to make Vice President or something – he simply went on to found his own company, a successful nine-million-a-year venture called Skyride.
It’s an amusement ride the same as any other you can find in theme parks around the world, the sort with super-large IMAX-type high-definition video and special moving platforms that are synchronized to the actions on-screen. In the case of Skyride, a twenty-to-thirty minute program that costs anywhere from twenty to thirty bucks, viewers are taken on a simulated helicopter tour of New York City with narration provided by actor Kevin Bacon. Buzzing all the famous iconic landmarks, this ride is located in one of the most famous such places of all, the Empire State Building, making for great exposure and guaranteed business.
From there, Mr. Silber went on to duplicate the idea for the Sydney Tower in Australia, with the Skywalk and Oztrek rides, and the Eureka Tower in Melbourne, featuring The Edge, a glass cube that projects out of the structure so that occupants are standing three hundred feet above ground level. Interestingly, Mr. Silber’s business interests changed in response to his successes, and he got involved in the marketing and money management fields. One easily imagines these new start-up ventures a result of his own growing success: The money management company for high-worth individuals and institutions arising from personal needs for similar financial expertise, perhaps, and the targeted marketing company arising from a need for promoting his amusement rides.
Thus has this millionaire-next-door found his way from one success to another. What’s next? It seems that Mr. Silber is beginning to retire to a life of philanthropy – his next venture!