Communities are a product of personalities. It’s true in sports, entertainment, politics and business.
Consider how Jobs, Gates, Ellison, Zuckerberg and Brin have defined how technology and entrepreneurship are viewed in the US.
The Washington, DC business and technology community has its share of dynamic entrepreneurs. Perhaps no one has had more relevance and staying power than Michael Saylor, the founder, CEO and Chairman of business analytics software provider Microstrategy.
Saylor’s story is one for the big screen. A young entrepreneur guides his start-up to stardom and massive wealth; experiences a dramatic fall, employee layoffs and damaging SEC investigation; only to rise again through innovation, discipline and steady execution.
I have yet to meet Saylor nor done any business with his company. I follow his editorial coverage though because I find his comments insightful and inspiring.
In the late 1990s as Strategic Communications Group’s (Strategic) business was ramping up and I pointed my focus towards a career in sales, I jotted down a Saylor-ism that I refer to from time-to-time.
“You have to be able to look a prospect in the eye and believe in your heart when you tell him or her, ‘This thing you need…there is no one in the world who can do this better, smarter or faster than I can.’”
Unfortunately, I can no longer recall the exact source of that quote. It was a magazine or newspaper profile of Microstrategy.
Saylor rocketed to mind again today when I received the May/June issue of SmartCEO magazine. Saylor is on the cover, reclining in a chair with a broad and confident smile. The hair is still good, although the beard is now peppered with gray.
The profile of Microstrategy is an interesting read, yet true to form Saylor delivers a wonderfully articulate and compelling quote:
“If you want to generate $10 billion or $20 billion or $50 billion worth of value, you need to be first in a category. You need to invent it and drive it, and you have got to do that before anybody else recognizes that it is a category.”
Like I said, communities are all about personalities.