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The Intelligent Entrepreneur by Bill Murphy

The Intelligent Entrepreneur was a fantastic book and I recommend it to all of my friends. I absolutely loved this book, Bill Murphy is a hell of a writer. This book tells the story of three Harvard Business School Graduates. Marla Malcolm Beck (founder of BlueMercury), Chris Michel (founder of Military.com and Affinity Labs), and Marc Cenedella (founder of TheLadders.com). While I was impressed with all of their stories the Blue Mercury story and Marla Malcolm Beck inspired me the most throughout this book. These stories illustrate their lives and how they got to where they were. The most important things they stress is they found something they were passionate about and liked to do so they went out and did it. They didn’t let the obstacles get in the way, even when they became really tough. They found that making the right contacts and getting plugged into the right network was crucial to their success as well.

The Intelligent Entrepreneur

Blue Mercury

Blue Mercury was an excellent concept from the beginning. Beck shows us how the concept was created and put into place. While she founded the organization with her husband Barry she really was the brains behind the organization. Beck founded the organization in 1999 in the DC Metro area, Georgetown being the first store location. Now the Bluemercury chain includes 40 locations throughout the U.S. The stores carry over 100 brands including makeup, skincare, haircare, perfumes, bath and body, and home fragrances. Their spas focus on results-oriented treatments, including oxygen facials, glycolic peels, waxing and microdermabrasion. One of their main competitors is Sephora and I tease my wife that both stores are the same, but they do have their subtle differences.

The Intelligent Entrepreneur


Marc Cenedella founded TheLadders in July 2003. Cenedella talks about the difficulty in creating a niche job site for high-end job seekers and the trials and tribulations he had to go through. He talks about the difficulty of creating an ideal business model for both the user and the companies he was potentially matching up along with dealing with recruiters in the process. It’s interesting to hear what he went through to make his business a success. TheLadders seeks to make its listings more useful to employers seeking executive personnel by utilizing a reverse business model that caters to the high-end job seeker.
 The Intelligent Entrepreneur

Military.com and Affinity Labs

Chris Michel founded Military.com in 1999, he wanted to make a portal for U.S. Military members that could help them out with just about anything they needed. Michel being a formerly being in the Military wanted to set up a portal where people in the military and formerly in the military could get anything they needed. In early 2004, Military.com was bought by Monster Worldwide.

The Intelligent Entrepreneur

Wrapping it Up

This is a book that gives great insight through real life stories in Entrepreneurship. Additionally, it gives good tips and tries to show why and how those entrepreneurs were successful. I really enjoyed the end of the book when they spoke with the entrepreneurs as well. Highly recommended!

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