Harrison, Kyle 1970-
HARRISON, Kyle 1970-
Born 1970, in TX. Education: Wharton School of Business, M.B.A., 1999.
Home—San Francisco, CA. Agent—Perseus Books, 11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142.
Consultant and entrepreneur. Andersen Consulting, former management consultant. Platinum Concepts, San Francisco, CA, cofounder, 1999.
(With John Lusk) The MouseDriver Chronicles: The True-Life Adventures of Two First-Time Entrepreneurs, Perseus Publishing (Boston, MA), 2002.
While sitting in a Texas restaurant in 1995, reviewing slides for his next sales presentation, Kyle Harrison began brainstorming on how he could differentiate his sales pitch from those of other vendors, and come up with a more interesting promotional product. On the back of a coaster, he sketched out an idea, and by the end of the night had created the basis for an eventual patented design: the MouseDriver.
In 1997, while a student at the Wharton School of Business, Harrison met John Lusk, another former management consultant who was also determined to make a go of it on his own in the business world. For six months, the two sought input from classmates, professors, and other resources at Wharton to research and develop the MouseDriver concept. Harrison and Lusk concluded that the benefits the MouseDriver could bring as both a promotional product and a retail gift item were tremendous. They decided to start a business.
While starting their company, Lusk and Harrison also started an online newsletter that let interested classmates and friends follow the progress of their new business venture. "We [wanted] to have something our grandchildren could read [that told] about what we did," Lusk said in an interview with the Wharton School of Business Journal Online. "The newsletter became the mentored adviser we never had," Lusk continued. "It got us our first warehouse. It gave us product ideas. We found sales reps through it. It [provided] consulting opportunities."
The story of the two entrepreneurs caught on in the media, and Inc. magazine ran a cover story about them. A literary agent called about a possible book, and the diary and newsletters Harrison and Lusk had written became the basis for The MouseDriver Chronicles: The True-Life Adventures of Two First-Time Entrepreneurs. While Lusk wrote most of the book, Harrison penned the epilogue. In a review for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Susan Salter Reynolds dubbed the work "a fun and hopeful book, written in an 'aw shucks' press release tone: just two guys with expensive degrees wanting to start small and make millions." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews praised The MouseDriver Chronicles as a "lively and informative narrative of product-based entrepreneurship in the virtual-product age, by business-school roommates who built and sold a better mouse." In Library Journal Norm Hutcherson wrote that Harrison and Lusk's "well-written chronicle effectively describes the many challenges they overcame, including the hunt for a marketable product, the pitfalls of product development, the problems associated with manufacturing, and the need for flexible business and marketing plans, common objectives, and industry-experienced mentors."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 15, 2001, Barbara Jacobs, review of The MouseDriver Chronicles: The True-Life Adventures of Two First-Time Entrepreneurs, p. 693.
Business Week, March 25, 2002, review of The MouseDriver Chronicles, p. 14.
Inc., February 1, 2001, Mike Hofman, "An American Start-up."
Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2001, review of The MouseDriver Chronicles, p. 1536.
Library Journal, February 1, 2002, Norm Hutcherson, review of The MouseDriver Chronicles, p. 111.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, December 23, 2001, Susan Salter Reynolds, review of The MouseDriver Chronicles, p. 11.
Philadelphia Business Journal, February 8, 2002, Peter Key, review of The MouseDriver Chronicles, p. 10.
Publishers Weekly, December 3, 2001, review of The MouseDriver Chronicles, p. 51.
Strategic Finance, March, 2002, review of The MouseDriver Chronicles, p. 21.
Washington Business Journal, February 1, 2002, review of The MouseDriver Chronicles, p. 32.
BookPage.com,http://bookpage.com/ (February, 2002), Stephanie Swilley, interview with Lusk and Harrison.
Wharton School of Business Journal Online, http://knowledge.upenn.edu/ (April 17, 2002), review of The MouseDriver Chronicles.*