Dan Maccarone and Bob Sullivan – The Barstool MBA
What can working in a bar teach you about launching a successful startup? The answer – as bar owner Dan Maccarone and best-selling author Bob Sullivan reveal in The Barstool MBA – is just about everything.
In February 2009, Dan Maccarone, a digital product design executive who works with some of the world’s top brands, walked through the doors of what would be his new bar, Destination, in Manhattan’s East Village. The overwhelming stale-beer smell, ruined floor, and “Happy New Year 2008” banners that hung from the walls were the least of his worries. He had just six weeks and a budget of $150,000 to turn the place into the neighborhood’s new favorite hang-out – and start turning a profit. For Maccarone, the experience of building out Destination was an unlikely crash course in conceiving, launching, and running a startup. From hiring the right staff to keeping the lights on, from getting patrons through the door to keeping them on their stools, Maccarone saw that the lessons he was learning day in and day out in the bar could be applied broadly to the challenges many of his clients on the digital product side faced when trying to get their businesses off the ground and keep them alive.
To tell this story, Maccarone teamed up with best-selling author Bob Sullivan, whose side-gig as a musician sends him to bars around the country. They spent two years interviewing dozens of bar owners, managers, bartenders, and industry insiders to uncover the secret wisdom behind running a successful bar and what it can teach us about business. With strategies and a-ha insights that can be applied to any new venture, The Barstool MBA is a delightfully unconventional and surprisingly practical resource for anyone weighing the cost of business school versus jumping right in.
This Audible Original is read by the authors.