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Monday, December 16, 2013 - 2013 Book Review: "Plowing Through: The Story of Drake Manufacturing Services" by Dick Williams
"Making innovative combinations of existing materials and forces; the source of all truly important changes in the economy; creative destruction at work."- Joseph Schumpeter, John Drake's favorite definition of entrepreneurship

At my sister's recent wedding, it was a great pleasure to see extended family members from all corners of the country. This included John and Cathi Drake of Drake Manufacturing Services (DMS). In a conversation about my work with entrepreneurs, I discovered more about their work successes. Shortly thereafter, I received a copy of this book in the mail, inscribed with "Hope you enjoy our story!" Isn't family the greatest?

DMS started out as nothing more than John, his garage and door-to-door sales. Today, DMS has become a multi-million dollar company with over 40 employees, manufacturing precision CNC machine tools. The DMS story begins with tales of John's parents, followed by John's childhood, meeting Cathi and the beginnings of DMS to today, all relating to the success of the business.

Williams makes it clear that John is rather modest, focusing on the company transitions as opposed to his personal company successes. Cathi is depicted as John's constant, always at his side. There is no doubt in his mind that this business is a success of both of theirs.

Note that this review not only tells the story of a great entrepreneurial success, but also the power of networking. I would hardly call a conversation between family and friends networking, though my point remains. You never know the story of the person standing next to you. You may have more in common than you think.