LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Jan. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- When a data science pioneer/entrepreneur retires, at age 65, from the $1.5 billion corporation he's run for three decades, what does he do?
Why, he jumps right back into the fire and invests millions of dollars in a tech start-up that loses its way and almost files bankruptcy. At a crucial point, Charles D. Morgan takes over the company, becoming its chairman and CEO, and after nearly a decade of trial and error he guides it to success in its noble mission—developing and placing scam-blocking technology within the network of a major telecom.
In a new book, Now What? The Biography of a (Finally) Successful Startup (Entrepreneur Publishing, February), we learn the rollercoaster story of Morgan and his company, First Orion -- a successful start-up…finally!
Morgan spent 35 years building Acxiom Corporation from 25 employees in a small Arkansas town to 7,000 employees worldwide, with $1.5 billion in annual revenue, as it became the world leader in data mining and its accompanying technology.
After "retiring" from Acxiom in 2008, Morgan didn't just go play golf and sit on the sidelines. He invested a million dollars into a technology start-up called First Orion. After watching the new company endure years of false starts and a near bankruptcy filing, Morgan was forced to plunge back into the day-to-day running of the company. Today, First Orion stands in the forefront of the cutting-edge work of protecting consumers and businesses from the explosion of scam phone calls. Morgan believes that First Orion has the chance to become even bigger than Acxiom.
"As you will see, my involvement with First Orion began merely as an investor;" says Morgan, "then, as various calamities ensued and numerous goals went unmet, I found myself sucked in further and further, until the founder was out and I was running the show-despite my silly protestations that I was somehow "retired." In my mind, this story is textbook entrepreneurialism, at least as 'textbook' as an entrepreneurial narrative could ever be. I sometimes suspect that the word entrepreneur means, "What the hell have I gotten myself into?"
Now What? is for those wrestling with questions about business leadership, avoiding bad decisions, investing in a start-up, and turning a passion into a profitable venture.
SOURCE Charles Morgan