Author Archive

Creating New Superstars – Background

December 2, 2016 Leave a comment

Following is the PREFACE that can be found in our newest business book “Creating New Superstars: Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality.” It explains how and why this we wrote and published this book.

Book Preface


Why have a few, extraordinary, Fortune 500 companies grown exponentially in revenues (annual growth rates of more than 30%) for at least the last 10 years, compared to a median Fortune 500 company that has grown at a mediocre 3.9% per year over the same period of time? Is the emergence of these giant “Superstars” a new phenomenon; and if so, why? What would it take for existing, healthy companies to achieve similar extreme growth, or at least significantly improve their performance? How can entrepreneurs maximize their chances for creating new Superstars? How can those seeking exceptional careers or investments identify high growth areas? On what types of companies should they focus?

Intrigued, we began a quest to answer these questions and others about extreme growth and highly successful, large businesses. Only later, did we consider writing a book. But why would we write one more business book? The answer is we believe we have uncovered important and exciting new information that can provide insight and direction to ambitious business leaders (both existing and potential). We also feel that our perspectives from the real world of business are a practical complement to advice from the often theoretical world of academia.

Thus we decided to turn the answers to our questions into a book, but what kind of a book? Yes, we wanted it to be a guide for achieving extreme business growth. But is that a book about business creativity and brilliant leadership, or is it one about identifying and building on fast-developing technology super-platforms (what we call “Launching Pads”)?

As we followed the evolution of our identified Superstars, it became clear: both are essential. For example, if the goal is starting a new business, the question of which type of business is obvious. But the answer can be elusive because a “flash of insight” or a “life-changing scientific discovery” or a “disruptive technology” is needed for the creation of a highly successful one. Without that innovation, nothing “big” happens. And that isn’t all. The desire for exceptional results also becomes a question of what kind of leadership is needed to achieve “extreme” success in today’s rapidly-changing, chaotic world.

So, while our book addresses exceptional leadership and the needed revolution in business management, it is just as much about the power of new technology and science. In our fast-paced, technology-rich environment, it is impossible to ignore these forces that are shaping the future for business and for humanity. Successful new businesses and new technologies have become irreversibly intertwined. Because of this, we first focus on the technology Launching Pads that have created or enabled the current Superstars and may still create others.  But what comes next? To provide new entrepreneurs, job seekers, and even investors with a head start, we explore several rapidly-advancing areas of science and technology that we predict will be the breeding grounds for future Superstars.

Summing it all up, with its focus on how to identify and/or create highly successful new businesses capable of extreme growth, our book is aimed at job-seekers and investors seeking exceptional opportunities, and at entrepreneurial “free spirits” who are ambitious enough to want to make a big difference, who are willing to take risks, and who are open to embracing new and unconventional concepts and technologies to achieve “far better than average” results.


“Creating New Superstars: Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality”

by Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo

Available from in both paperback and kindle formats.


Creating New Superstars

November 28, 2016 Leave a comment



In our newest book, Creating New Superstars, we the authors set our sights on the future. Yes we identify and examine today’s Superstar Companies, but our focus is on embryonic new Superstars and the technology “Superplatforms” that will enable them.

Technologies and business – forever intertwined as the future unfolds. Superstar Companies and technology Superplatorms shaping the world. That’s what our book is all about.


Creating New Superstars

CREATING NEW SUPERSTARS: A Guide to Businesses that Soar above the Sea of Normality by Ennio Fatuzzo and Carol L. Fatuzzo.

“Creating New Superstars” is a book that starts by looking at a new phenomenon—companies that grow exponentially even after they become giants. We call these select companies “Superstars.” More specifically, our book is about how the intersection of explosively advancing technology superplatforms (what we call technology “Launching Pads”) and todays revolutionary “Agents of Change” has created an environment where Superstars can exist.

Yes, the book addresses the needed revolution in business management, but it is more about new technology and science. Why? In today’s fast-paced, technology-rich environment, it is impossible to ignore these forces that are shaping the future for business and for humanity. As we show, businesses and technologies have become irreversibly intertwined.

The book begins by highlighting a few, extremely successful Fortune 500 companies— ones we define as “Superstars” on the basis their continuing spectacular financial results. These Superstars, unlike other large companies, have exhibited exponential growth for over a decade. But such hyper-growth of very large companies is new and very uncommon. How can others learn from their extreme success and the path they have followed? How can potential new Superstars be identified as they begin to develop?

Although there is no single recipe for answering the above questions, the book describes key common factors that led to the creation of specific Superstars—Genentech, Amgen, Gilead Sciences, Amazon and, of course, Apple. Yes, topics such as the act of creation and unconventional leadership are addressed, but the focus is on what we believe to be the most important ingredient—exponentially advancing technology “Launching Pads.” The book describes three current Launching Pads (Microelectronics, the Internet, and Biogenetics) and shows how their symbiotic relationships have resulted in today’s Superstars.

Although understanding today’s Launching Pads and Superstars is interesting, it is not the objective of the book. Rather, we use this information to predict and describe emerging areas of technology and science that have the potential to be “breeding grounds” for new Launching Pads. This includes exploring the possible future impacts (good and bad) of these explosive technologies on the business world, and by implication, on the human race.

Summing it all up, “Creating New Superstars” offers guidance to those who are looking to launch new businesses and to those who are already working in the trenches trying to imagine brighter future for their company. Additionally our book provides insight for job-seekers looking for exciting careers in high growth businesses and for those seeking to invest wisely in the future.



Creating New Superstars is available in both paperback and Kindle formats from For additional information and other business leadership offerings from Carol and Ennio Fatuzzo, visit our authors’ Web site:

Agents of Change

Agents of Change: Creating a Business World Forever Changed and Changing by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo

AOC-Cover-web-borderIt is no longer business as usual and it never will be. In today’s chaotic environment, only one thing is certain: CHANGE, and more CHANGE, and CHANGE at an unprecedented, ever increasing pace. Already too much has changed to allow business leaders to rely on business practices from the past, even the recent past.

So what should leaders do differently as they attempt to navigate the treacherous path to business survival and success in the 21st century? The answer to that question is not simple, and many leaders are even ignoring the question itself. They are acting as if the key forces driving radical change are no more than background noise.

Therefore, in our new article we attempt to change that mindset by increasing awareness and understanding of what we consider the most important “Agents of Change” and then exploring their impact on today’s business. Areas addressed include “instant” communication, global “interconnectivity,” social media, science-based management methodologies, and sophisticated data analysis. By taking a step back to provide a different perspective and clearer view on what is happening as these forces converge, we hope to create the knowledge and attitude needed to kick-start a revolution in business management.

Some key messages for business management from the article:

  • Agents of Change are creating a technology dependent future.
  • The pace of change is accelerating and will continue to increase.
  • Speed has become the key to corporate survival.
  • Global-Sourcing is the business path to the future.
  • In today’s global economy, there are not likely to be many “lone pioneers.”
  • “Staying the course” is likely to result in corporate death.
  • Business management needs to move from its empirical, intuitive world to one based on science and technology.

If you are interested in reading more, this article and others are available for purchase and download from our Digital Store on our Web site:

“The Death of the Julia Division―Memoirs of an Officer” EXCERPT

pic by 177-1 web


The Death of the Julia Division

Memoirs of an Officer

by Giacomo Fatuzzo

available in both paperback and kindle formats from



This is my father’s book―the true story of the fairly unknown “local” war between Italy and Greece, located in time in the early days of World War II. It is the compelling, day-by-day chronicle of the personal suffering of soldiers and officers commanded to make war on an enemy whom they had no reason to hate.

It was a war of mistakes where plans were inadequate, orders were contradictory, maps were wrong, supplies were almost nonexistent, and failure was almost guaranteed. The book highlights the anguish of soldiers going to war for a cause they do not believe in, yet following orders and doing their best even though death was almost a certainty. This is a timeless story of the conflict between beliefs and duty, of moral dilemmas and choices, of conflicting priorities, and of bravery in the face of death.

My father was an Italian Army officer who fought in this little remembered war and was wounded but survived, unlike most of his men. He wrote this book, years later, based on his war diary; and it was published in Italy in 1970 with the title “Storia della <Julia> nella campagna di grecia.” Although the book had substantial sales in Italy and received several literary awards, I never read it. Why?

I was a child in Italy when this war took place, and my memories of that time are extremely unpleasant. As an adult, I did not want to be reminded of those years. I also assumed this was just another war book written by a man whom I viewed as unemotional, and uncompromising.

I WAS VERY WRONG! The book introduced me to a man I had not known―compassionate, even towards the so-called “enemy,” and driven by a sense of duty to his country and to his “Alpini.” They were his family as much as my mother and I were. Although I resented this as I was growing up, I understand and respect his feelings now.

So why did I finally read this book, and why translate it into English now? It was my daughter, Laura Maria Fatuzzo, who convinced me this book was more than just a factual, daily account of troop movements. She insisted it was a well-written and moving memoir that I needed to read. Moreover, she insisted that others, whose lives have been touched by war (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq…), would find it equally riveting―if they could read it.

Therefore, I read the book. Laura was right. I was amazed by the literary brilliance of my father and the book’s emotional impact on me. I encouraged Laura to translate the book into English, with my support. As the story in English unfolded, my wife Carol and Laura’s husband Michael MacLaughlin became mesmerized and provided proofing and editing help.

The translation is finished, thanks to my daughter Laura, the main translator and motivator behind this work. Now the English version of my father’s book is available to those English-speaking readers who are ready to take an emotional trip into the reality of war.

Ennio Fatuzzo

Categories: Leadership

Leadership and Survival – A New Book

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment



Leadership in a chaotic world. It can be found in many different places and circumstances. It is sometimes difficult to define, but it is easy to recognize and learn from.

“The Death of the Julia Division,” the newest book published by NHBV, is not a business book. It is a true story of leadership and survival in the midst of war; and it offers thought-provoking insights about the challenges a leader faces.

Interested in survival in today’s stormy business seas? Want to better understand the kind of leadership and leadership actions that it takes? If so, you may be interested in our newest leadership book.




THE DEATH OF THE JULIA DIVISION: Memoirs of an Officer by Giacomo Fatuzzo

This book is the devastating chronicle of the destruction of the 3rd Alpine Division Julia (an elite group of army alpine soldiers, once 10,000 strong) in Italy’s war against Greece in 1940.

Based on Fatuzzo’s actual war diary, the book provides an emotional, first-hand, day-by-day description of the challenges encountered, the suffering endured, and the battles fought by these proud alpine troops, of which he was one.

These pages tell a timeless story―the agony of a leader who doesn’t believe the war he is fighting is justified but fights as hard as he can; the anger of an officer who knows that his superiors are making poor decisions from a remote location but still must follow the resulting orders; the commitment of a soldier who does his best in impossible circumstances and who suffers tremendously, as do all of those involved in the campaign.

How different is this from stories of soldiers in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan? Are their thoughts and actions and suffering so very different from Fatuzzo’s? Ultimately, his book is an anguishing journey by a survivor into the ugly realities of war―any war. And it provides a powerful statement on the courage and the strength of the fighting men and their leaders.


“The Death of the Julia Division” is available in both paperback and Kindle formats from

For additional information and other business leadership offerings from Carol and Ennio Fatuzzo, visit our authors’ Web site


Categories: Leadership

Recession Survival through Business Leadership

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment


Economy in turmoil! Businesses in crisis! The new normal for the 21st century.

For a practical guide to recession survival we suggest our new book “SURVIVAL IN THE SEA OF ECONOMIC CHAOS.” Written by business executives for business executives, this book is all about timely and effective leadership actions for business stabilization and survival in a world that is continually changing due to disruptive external forces. Following is an excerpt from the book introduction that gives you an idea of what to expect.


SURVIVAL IN THE SEA OF ECONOMIC CHAOS: Perspectives on Leadership Actions for Businesses in Crisis by Carol L. Fatuzzo and Ennio Fatuzzo

OUR SUBJECT? Perspectives on different possible actions that the leaders of businesses struggling in the midst of economy–induced chaos could take. The causes of the chaos can range from recession to political revolution to tsunami to some other major disruptive event. But that doesn’t matter. These are broad external forces beyond the control of any single business. What is important is that these forces can (and often do) have widespread economic impacts that cause crises for businesses. And these crises are likely to end in disaster without leadership intervention. So the focus of our book is business survival in difficult economic times, and we explore various leadership actions for achieving that goal.

OUR APPROACH? We start by describing results–oriented actions for quickly shoring up and stabilizing struggling businesses to help them “stay afloat” and cope with the financial crises created by external forces (i.e., recession, depression, or some other significant economic disruption). Then, as the turbulence eases and the economic environment improves, tactics and strategies for longer–term business survival and turnaround in performance are explored.

OUR “RECIPE” FOR SURVIVAL? There isn’t any one “best” way of coping with the types of business crises caused by economic chaos. Therefore we: 1) suggest different types of leadership actions for different timeframes, 2) provide examples and easily accessible references that illustrate each type of action, and 3) describe different leadership, methodologies, and tools for optimizing decision–making, strategic and business planning, and implementation of chosen actions. In other words, we suggest approaches and alternatives…..Then, all things considered, we leave it up to you, the business leader, to choose the path that is most appropriate for your specific situation.


                                  from “Survival in the Sea of Economic Chaos


“Survival in the Sea of Economic Chaos” is available in both paperback and Kindle formats from

For additional information and other business leadership offerings from Carol and Ennio Fatuzzo, visit our authors’ Web site

Categories: Leadership

Apple and RCA: A Tale of Two Companies

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment


Once upon a time, companies developed strategic plans, in some loose fashion inspired by the strategic plans of the military. These corporate strategies commonly were reviewed only once every year because change usually occurred at a very slow pace, and gradual change is very seldom disruptive. In this peaceful time, certain practices became the norm and accepted as the standard for good management, including things such as:

  • New product definition based totally on market research
  • Extreme delegation to subordinates/teams for prioritizing/implementing programs
  • Decisions through consensus

The general idea seemed to be that a dull, predictable company would be a good, successful company. However, once in a while there was disruptive change, like a recession. In such unsettled times, many of the dull but successful companies disappeared. That was to be expected according to “case studies” that looked at these failures after-the-fact. The reasons given for failure generally boiled down to “the rules of good management were not followed”.

But there were outliers or rebels – very successful companies where the “rules of good management” were not followed at all, at least for significant periods in their lifetimes. Two such companies, separated in time by almost a century, are RCA and Apple. What made them so successful in the face of disruptive environments?


Let’s start with today’s company first: Apple. A recent article claims that Apple’s amazing success in our recessionary times is due to putting their customers first instead of profit (“Jobs made Apple great by ignoring profit” by C. Christensen and J. Allworth, Reuters, Aug 29, 2011). Well, it’s not that simple. It seems to us that Steve Jobs, with his visionary leadership, unconventional management approach, and strong personality is the fundamental reason.

How did Steve Jobs lead/drive Apple to create not just revolutionary new products but entire new markets during times of economic chaos? It was NOT by blindly relying on marketing research. Instead, Jobs blazed a new trail of disruptive products and radical marketing approaches based on his convictions about customers’ unmet DESIRES, not needs. From these convictions, he developed his own innovative product/platform ideas and then drove Apple mercilessly to commercialize them. He did this by dictating to the engineers what to invent and, at times, even how to engineer the products. Jobs made all of the key decisions and was blunt and painfully direct in communicating them to his employees. Yes, he was a dictator and he wasn’t always right, yet most of his people respected, “loved”, and followed him. Steve Jobs ignored many of the “sacred” practices of “good” business management and yet Apple has prospered far beyond expectations in our difficult economic times.


Next we turn back the clock to the first half of the 20th century and focus on RCA (Radio Corporation of America), the then great (but now defunct) electronic company. In its time, RCA was a large and vibrant manufacturing company whose world-class laboratories invented many disruptive new technologies. And the company used these radical innovations to reach great heights of success. With its revolutionary radio and television products, RCA created an entire new industry – consumer electronics. Innovation clearly was the driving force and the key to success. However we are not talking about unbridled innovation. As in the case of Apple, RCA also had a powerful and visionary leader – David Sarnoff.

It was the clearly articulated “visions” of Sarnoff that started RCA on its quest to create the future. Sarnoff passionately believed in the revolutionary potential of three not-yet-invented products for markets that didn’t exist at the time: commercial radio, black-and-white television, and color television. There was essentially no market research to support these product concepts, and the technologies needed did not exist. But that didn’t faze Sarnoff. He told his laboratories directly what specific product was to be invented. He did not specify how to design it, but he did dictate exactly what the final product had to do for the customer. None of these directives were questioned by the organization. After all, times were different then; and Sarnoff was the President.

To say it another way, in the early days of RCA, David Sarnoff made most key decisions with only minimal input from his organization or management team. He alone decided the direction of the company and which programs would be funded. This visionary leadership approach led to great successes for a while – when RCA was the primary developer of the disruptive technologies and when management missteps and program inefficiencies were not important because there was no meaningful competition.


For RCA, the future is today and RCA is no more. What happened? Well, David Sarnoff did have a vision for another disruptive product – the video recorder. And he communicated this vision to his company just before he retired. But then, new leadership that “followed the rules” took over, and RCA became a different and more traditional company. Many management “mistakes” were made (no clear direction, unwise financial investments, poor technology choices, etc.) leading to disaster and eventual death of the company. In the words of A.D. Chandler Jr.: “If RCA had resisted the lure of the computer and avoided the curse of the conglomerate, if it had continued to concentrate, as did its Japanese competitors, on the consumer electronics market, the one that it knew best, then it might have remained the industry’s path definer.”  (“Inventing the Electronic Century”, 2001, p 49).

And what about Apple, where the future is tomorrow? Did Steve Jobs communicate a new disruptive product vision to his company before stepping down? Will his successor, Tim Cook, be able to preserve the culture and “technology user” focus created by Jobs? Will Cook be more of a traditional CEO or a charismatic leader? Will Apple become a more “traditional” company or will it remain a rebel and industry leader? Can Apple continue on its amazing growth track?

Through hindsight and history, we answered the question about what happened to RCA. But there are no sure answers to our questions about Apple. However, the sagas of these two “rebel” companies provide some important insights.


What is the key to the extreme success of a rebel company in disruptive times? It is NOT corporate structure or the experience of the management team or the strict discipline of the employees. Instead, it is the creativity, visionary leadership, and powerful personality of a few key individuals. These are individuals that are not bound by tradition and thus are able to rapidly adapt to a changing environment. They have passionate beliefs, are focused on their goals, and take pride of being the best in their industry or maybe even the best in the world. And they are dedicated to their company and their organization. These individuals are what we call “Dynamic Business Leaders” and they are shaping our future.

Categories: Leadership

Skinnygirl: A Power Brand or a Fad?

Imagine enjoying a cocktail without having any of the calorie-related guilt. Natural-foods chef Bethenny Frankel did and now seems to be creating an empire for herself, starting with low-calorie cocktails. Her Skinnygirl Margarita, offering up only 100 calories for a four-ounce serving of the bottled beverage, already has made quite a splash. And, by targeting the female consumer, this low-cal cocktail is paying off in dividends. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Skinnygirl Margarita is one of the largest ready-to-drink cocktail brands in the United States. And it’s only been on the market for the past 18 months. Because of this rapid success Frankel has been able to sell her Skinnygirl Margarita line to Fortune Brands Inc. (reportedly for $100 million).

What made all of this happen? The success of the Skinnygirl low calorie cocktail clearly is tied to Frankel’s success as a reality TV star. After her first successful appearances on “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” she became a popular cast member of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York.” It was during an episode of this series that she first introduced the Skinnygirl cocktail concept. And she continued to promote her brand as she moved on to star in “Bethenny Ever After.” The result is that the Skinnygirl brand has become a household name, thanks to her fan base.  According to the May 17 edition of Forbes Magazine, “Frankel has become one of the most well-known entrepreneurs on television by making her business everyone’s business.”

However Frankel’s success is due to more than a loyal fan base. It took commitment and hard work. Frankel relates that when she initially tried to find an investor for her Skinnygirl Margarita idea, each of the major alcohol companies turned her down saying women don’t traditionally buy “hard alcohol” products. Others may have seen this as a closed door, but Frankel was convinced that the adult female consumer was an emerging market for low calorie cocktails. So she decided that if no one would back her concept she would find a suitable partner and develop the business herself. And she did.

But Frankel doesn’t intend to stop with drinks. Reportedly she has retained rights to use the Skinnygirl brand for everything other than liquor and has big plans to do so. Will she be successful? Is Skinnygirl a power brand or just a fad?

Some food for thought (“Can Bethenny Crack A Billion?” by Meghan Casserly,, May 18, 2011):

          “Bethenny’s hit on some megatrends with Skinnygirl that are incredibly attractive right now: premiumization, convenience, low calorie and the targeting of the female consumer.”

          “Strategically, Frankel’s plan looks sound. Now it’s about execution. She’s created a marketable brand in a number of favorable sectors all seeing global growth. Even if she can capture just crumbs of each category she can create a very successful business (Douglas Lane, an analyst covering consumer goods at Jefferies & Co.)

Categories: Leadership

iPhone Winners or Losers?

Apple’s iPhone 4G has safely secured itself as the top-selling mobile phone in the United States and has positioned Apple as the third largest mobile phone brand in the US. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, these achievements came because Apple expanded iPhone service beyond AT&T through its new partnership with Verizon. Specifically, since February, Verizon customers have been able to buy the iPhone and keep Verizon service. This new partnership appears to have contributed significantly to Apple’s impressive second quarter gains in income and revenues – another winning move for Apple.

But what about Apple’s new partner Verizon? Verizon spent much of its time during the first days and weeks of its iPhone launch targeting current AT&T customers. But in the end, only 14 percent of Verizon’s early iPhone sales were the result of customers switching networks, according to an article in the Epoch Times. This fell short of expectations. Instead, the largest portion of sales was to current Verizon customers, who (perhaps) had been waiting for the carrier to launch its version of the iPhone, a move that had been rumored for at least the past two years. In spite of this, between February and the end of April more than 2.2 million “Verizon” iPhones were sold, according to numbers from research and measurement firm comScore. And Verizon executives now are touting the iPhone as the company’s most successful introduction of a new phone in the company’s history. So Verizon also appears to be an iPhone winner, at least for now.

However don’t discount AT&T. During this same time period the company won more new iPhone customers than Verizon. And in spite of loosing exclusive rights to the iPhone, the company achieved sales of 3.6 million iPhones (according to the New York Times). Therefore AT&T might be considered a bigger winner than Verizon. But will it last?

Which service provider will emerge as the long-term victor remains to be seen. But what is clear is that Apple is still in the driver’s seat, providing innovative new products and new choices for customers.

Categories: Leadership

The Price of Oil: A Business Tsunami

It affects each of us. It’s both the bane of our existence and the resource that provides for our fast-paced lifestyle. It makes some of us rich, while leaving others of us cash poor. It fuels our economy and determines the destiny of many businesses. It’s oil. And its price is volatile and heavily impacted by external forces beyond our control, as recent events demonstrate.

Beginning with the chaos in Cairo and continuing with the violent protests in Libya and much of the Middle East, oil prices have been on a dramatic upswing since early February. Industry experts have predicted that, as a result, gas prices could reach more than $5 a gallon by the summer months. Just by the middle of March gas prices around the United States were about 90 cents higher than a year ago, according to AAA of Southern California.

But predictions and prices are unsteady, to say the least. Oil prices dropped slightly after the U.N. resolution to use force to stop Moammar Gadhafi’s violent attacks on rebels, as reported in the March 18th edition of the Atlanta Business Journal.

And other external forces impact oil prices. As Japan and the international community cope with the impact of the recent and horrific 9.0 earthquake and the tsunami it caused, the diminished demand for oil in the Pacific Rim caused a slight but temporary further drop in prices. But now, once again, oil and consequently gas prices are on the rise.

What could all of this mean for consumers and business owners and our economy’s fragile recovery? No one is quite sure. Balancing natural disasters with the political fallout across Northern Africa and the Middle East has made for a cloudy crystal ball. It remains to be seen how high or low oil prices will go in the coming months. But one thing is for sure. Many different types of external forces can cause global waves of business disruption. And these “business tsunamis” are potentially as destructive as their counterparts in nature.

So business leaders beware. Business Survival in the sea of economic chaos remains a challenge, whether or not the recession is over.

Categories: Disruptive Change