With Father's Day fast approaching, I thought I'd browse the archives and suggest you re-read some of Inc.'s greatest hits, all of which turn on the role of a father and how his business life overlaps with his family responsibilites.
In 2005, writer Robb Mandelbaum profiled Tom Parsons, a dad who started a company with his son Bryan in the hopes of growing closer to him—and in the hopes of teaching him good life skills like discipline and thrift. Once they got into business, however, Tom realized that he was the one who had a few lessons to learn. To find out what happened to the father-son partnership, click here.
Meanwhile, Bo Burlingham wrote a memorable article in 2003 about Greg Wittstock, a dynamo pond builder (yes, the man builds ponds for a living) who found himself in competition with his father. Not psychologically or metaphorically or Oepidally, mind you. His dad actually started a rival pond-scaping business. Here's the link to the whole complicated saga.
Finally, I recommend you check out Leigh Buchanan's heartwarming tale of Kenny Kramm, a young father who never really had the ambition to start a company. As fate would have it, he ended up running a successful firm entirely in the service of helping his daughter Hadley, who suffers from seizures. The company, FlavorX, makes syrup that makes medicine easier for kids to swallow. Being a business owner allows Kenny to spend more time with his daughter and, he hopes, the company will create enough wealth for the family in the long run that Hadley's needs will be taken care of for the rest of her life. You might say he created the business to save his daughter. It's just as apt to observe that by starting a company, Kenny saved himself. Here's the link to that story.
Last updated: Jun 14, 2007
MIKE HOFMAN was previously editor of Inc.com and a deputy editor at Inc. magazine, which he joined in 1996. The site was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Digital Media in 2010, and was named the best business website by Folio Magazine. In 2006, Hofman was part of a team of writers nominated for a Webby Award for best business blog. He lives in New York City. @mikehofman