Letter From the Editor: A Baseball Story
BY John Koten
Lessons from a major-league entrepreneur.
Letter From the Editor
Baseball isn't a central topic of conversation at Inc., but a discussion of leadership at a recent editorial meeting quickly turned to the fascinating story of Omar Minaya, the rookie general manager who -- with little more than raw leadership ability -- turned the hapless Montreal Expos into winners in a single season. It was the kind of story we knew many Inc. readers would identify with as well as learn from. Inc. Editorial Director Loren Feldman is personally familiar with Minaya's eye for talent. Traveling with the young baseball scout in the Dominican Republic many years ago, Feldman recalls Minaya singling out a promising, but then-unknown, player whom Minaya had signed and believed would one day be a star. The player was Sammy Sosa.
On a sad note, I'm sorry to report that Thomas N. Richman, a senior writer and editor at Inc. for more than two decades, died of cancer on January 27. Tom joined Inc. in 1979 and was among the first to recognize an important new development in the U.S. economy: Americans in record numbers were forgoing jobs in corporations and inventing enterprises of their own. He and his colleagues set out to examine the business lives of these pioneers and, in the process, helped make Inc. the most financially successful magazine launch in U.S. publishing history up to that point. Richman's efforts helped trigger the serious attention paid to the "culture of entrepreneurship" by politicians, journalists, management thinkers, and the general public today.
As the publication's bureau chief in Washington, D.C., Richman also was known for conducting quarterly roundtables on Capitol Hill that brought members of Congress and entrepreneurs face-to-face for the first time. By the late 1990s, many of his pioneering articles and case studies had become required reading in business schools throughout the country. He certainly will be missed at this magazine, but his work will remain an inspiration to us.
John Anderson (" A Lesson in Grit") was a finalist for a National Magazine Award for public service and is currently a contributing editor of The American Lawyer magazine. His latest book, Art Held Hostage (W.W. Norton & Company), which is scheduled to hit bookstores in May, tells the story of the embattled Barnes Collection, a private collection of impressionist and postimpressionist masters at the center of cultural, racial, and political power struggles in Philadelphia.
Staff writer Bobbie Gossage (" The Down-Round Dilemma") joined Inc. in October 2002 after three years as a reporter for Worth magazine. An amateur singer and songwriter, her interest in entrepreneurs began with her late grandfather Calvin, who owned and operated a plumbing company, Kastl Plumbing, in Lawrence, Kansas. Founded in 1971, it is still run by her grandmother LaVaughn. Bobbie lives in Queens, with her collection of Charlie Chaplin videos.
Freelance photographer Erin Patrice O'Brien (" A Knack for Sweet Deals") has shot for Newsweek, Child, and Premiere magazines, among others. She and her husband, Pablo Cubarle, who plays an electric cello, recently returned from Argentina, where she photographed banks destroyed during the economic crisis. Based in Brooklyn, her husband assists on her shoots for her help managing his band, Contramano.