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Rise of Kinko

By   /   Sunday, March 29th, 2009  /   Comments Off on Rise of Kinko

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It’s not easy tracking down Paul Orfalea.

The man who made Kinko’s synonymous with American-style entrepreneurship has been speaking out about dyslexia, leading seminars at University of California, Santa Barbara, and making a few appearances in the Tri-Counties.

But mainly he keeps a low profile and spends a lot of time managing his investments and the philanthropic foundations he created when he sold his company several years ago.

What’s been much harder in recent years is getting Orfalea to talk about business. Specifically, about what made his company not just a great idea, but an innovator when it came to motivating people and creating a culture of success.

Fortunately, Dean Zatkowsky, a former manager for Kinko’s, has gathered enough anecdotes and enough face time with Orfalea to tell the company’s story in a literate and fluid style.

“Two Billion Dollars in Nickels: Reflections on the Entrepreneurial Life,” co-authored by Orfalea and Zatkowsky, recently was published by Dizzy One Ventures, Zatkowsky’s Ojai-based venture.

This is a book that reflects Orfalea’s uniquely insightful way of describing the entrepreneur’s journey. It upends much of the conventional wisdom of what makes an entrepreneur successful, but it also is grounded in many of the things that business book authors — including Jim Collins of “Good to Great” fame — cite in their work.

To view the rest of this book review and all other offerings in the Business Times, see this week’s print version or SUBSCRIBE for $49.99 today.

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