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August 2, 2012

Dispatches from EBV-SU: Losses on the Battlefield of Business

Dispatches from EBV-SU: Losses on the Battlefield of Business

Written by Shannon P. Meehan, IVMF Media Relations & Communication Specialist

Today Mr. Christopher Gardner shared his cautionary tale of the rise and fall of one of his business ventures.  The story of, Mr. Garner’s once prized business venture, is a bittersweet one, full of lessons for the vets to learn from.

With an excellent business model, disciplined planning and execution, Gardner’s business reached an all-time high with a valuation of $109mm in 1999.  But a summer of overconfidence and overspending changed everything.  Overexpansion and misplaced advertise spending led to the end of the company by 2001.

It is quite a story to hear; a bittersweet story full of lessons for the students.  Gardner built a business that earned $17 million in just 3 and a half year.  Despite this success, he was left with near nothing as the business crumbled and died.

The students grew in engagement as the story, and the business, unfolded.  And the questions that followed were the best to date.

It was an important story for the veterans to hear.  As experienced, combat veterans, they know about loss, and many have experienced defeat at some point.  Learning how to maneuver, and how not to maneuver, on the battlefield of business is a crucial element of what can lead these vets to success.

Shannon P. Meehan, an EBV-SU graduate from the Class of 2011, is a communications and media relations specialist for the IVMF. He is also the co-author of “Beyond Duty: Life on the Frontline in Iraq” (Polity Press).



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