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The Power of Positive Destruction: How to Turn a Business Idea Into a Revolution

ISBN: 978-1-119-19642-6
224 pages
December 2016
The Power of Positive Destruction: How to Turn a Business Idea Into a Revolution (1119196426) cover image


It's no longer good enough to build a company to last; today it's about building a company to ignite change. The Power of Positive Destruction reveals how to start a new business, disrupt an industry, and adapt to changing environments by leveraging technology and a new mindset.

Serial entrepreneur Seth Merrin has built businesses by seeing issues with the status quo and introducing positive changes that have disrupted—and revolutionized—industries. In this book, he breaks down his process step-by-step to show you what you need to know to successfully start a company and transform an industry. Merrin's incredible story, coupled with real, actionable advice, will resonate with anyone who wants to be a catalyst of change. With this book, readers will learn to see the inefficiencies, ineptitudes, and everyday problems that others dismiss as the cost of doing business and create "unfair competitive advantages" to stack the deck—and win. You'll see how problems in current business models are really opportunities of which to take advantage and learn what you need to know and do to seize those opportunities —no matter where you work.

Seth Merrin saw Wall Street as it was, then built a company to turn it into what it could be—safer and more efficient for investors. This book shows you how he did it, and how you can too, with the power of positive destruction.

  • Discover how to turn status quo into disruption
  • Understand how to stack the deck in your favor to achieve the best possible chances of success
  • Learn how to build and run a company and design a culture for constant change
  • Acquire new skills to create strategy, sell your disruptive product or service, and negotiate effectively

Technology and innovation can disrupt or transform any industry. It's happening faster and more broadly now than ever, creating myriad opportunities for everyone. But winning in this new world is not easy. The incumbents will fight mightily against it and even those who would benefit from change may first express fear. This book reveals the techniques from identifying the opportunities to designing and executing the strategy you'll need to succeed. With The Power of Positive Destruction you can to tap into your inner change agent and transform your company, your industry, and the world.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

About the Authors xi

Introduction: Problems and Opportunities Are Two Sides of a Coin 1

Part 1 The Idea 5

Chapter 1 Any Industry Can Be Disrupted—Positively 7

Chapter 2 Ask WTF 19

Part 2 Leading the Innovation 33

Chapter 3 Create an Unfair Competitive Advantage 35

Chapter 4 What Do I Do Now? 55

Chapter 5 Business Is a Series of Problems to Solve 73

Chapter 6 Develop Your Unique Selling Proposition 85

Part 3 Shaking up the Market 103

Chapter 7 Launching a Company Is Both Art and Science 105

Chapter 8 Negotiation Skills: Can’t Be in Business without Them 121

Part 4 Driving the Revolution 141

Chapter 9 No Tree Grows to the Sky 143

Chapter 10 If You Don’t Make Mistakes, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough 157

Chapter 11 Culture by Design or Culture by Default 171

Afterword You Can Invent the Future 197

Index 201

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Author Information

Seth Merrin is founder and CEO of Liquidnet, a financial services company that is dedicated to rewiring the asset management industry by eradicating market inefficiency, driving investment performance, and enabling the efficient flow of investable assets around the world.

Carlye Adler is an award-winning journalist and three-time New York Times best-selling author/collaborator. Her writing has been published in BusinessWeek, FastCompany, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, Portfolio, TIME and Wired.

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Everyone is born inherently capable—what we lack is equal opportunity. Seth Merrin, through his companies and through his philanthropic endeavors, has increased access to opportunity. The Power of Positive Destruction shows you how you can level the playing field—and make a positive difference in your life and in the lives of those around you.

- Pierre Omidyar, philanthropist and founder, eBay

Seth Merrin disrupted our equity business and at the time it did not feel very “positive."  He turned the trading model upside down by better understanding the customer’s needs and created enormous benefits for clients and investors.  His work forced us to revisit our model, re-invest heavily, and embrace the future.  Everyone is better off, except those who ignore change. Seth has built a remarkable business from scratch and now, with The Power of Positive Destruction, is providing a roadmap for others to follow.

- Rich Handler, CEO, Jefferies/Leucadia 

The Power Of Positive Destruction is The Innovator’s Dilemma meets Wall Street. It’s a wonderful walk through the history of Wall Street technology transformation crossed with the visionary insight of Seth Merrin, a true technology innovator and disruptor.  Seth’s advice on seizing opportunity, risk taking, planning, and execution transforms finance and is applicable to any current, or would be, entrepreneur.

- Larry Tabb, founder and CEO, TABB Group

Looking for an investment with a great return? You found it with this book. Seth Merrin shows you how to create a high-success strategy, sell your game-changing product or service, and negotiate the deal you want. The Power of Positive Destruction will help you build a company with a culture that generates profits and makes the world a better place.

- Michael Price, founder, MFP Investors

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