This is proof that it takes more than intelligence to run a business.
Three months after that Future Beef declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and five months after that it laid off all 900 of its Arkansas City workers. Publications like Beef and Feed Lot magazines, which had applauded the company just months before, were brimming with stories about Future Beef's demise. When the plant finally closed its doors in early August 2002, just a year after it opened, the company owed more than $320 million to its creditors. All that remained other than the still-gleaming equipment was a spectacular case study of a business that had everything going for it except savvy.
This quote from the end of the article sums up Future Beef's problems.
"We knew when we started out that we were visionaries and not execution people," he continues. "You have to know, when you're a visionary, that you're going to have high risk." Bowling remains proud, but obviously defensive, in the manner of so many business revolutionaries taught sharp lessons by the marketplace when they were certain it would be the other way around.
For those of you who don't want this to happen to your company, I highly recommend Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done. I didn't read this book when it first came out because I thought it was about time management, but it isn't. I can now say it is THE BEST BUSINESS BOOK I HAVE EVER READ. I like to write in books, underlining things and making notes. I think I underlined half of that book.