In Chapter 9 Walter talks about people that inspired him /and/or were a catalyst to a new direction. He enacted the 80/20 rule, and applied Greek philosphy to business. The Q & A section extracts pertinent information from each chapter of his life and presents it as questions and answers.
Q. What favorite, mouth-watering memory led Walter into the arena of the technology revolution?
A. It was Al Busching, who’d been a member of the Friday night stock club, and a huge fan of Vera’s special chocolate cake. Thirty years later and now CEO of Veeco Lambda, a major technology company, Al ran into Walter. His first question was whether Vera was still baking his favorite treat. Then he asked Walter a favor: to perform due diligence on a technology company to determine whether it would be a good fit for Veeco.
Bashert, the Yiddish word for fate or destiny, describes so much of what happened throughout Walter’s life. He often seemed to be in the right place at the right time for unique opportunities. Have you had any “bashert” moments in your life?
Q. Who said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”? How did Walter apply this philosophy to business acquisitions?
A. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Walter recognized that the merger of two or more companies whose employees and goals were compatible could result in a more productive and profitable organization than the expansion of a single company.
Q. How old was Walter when he started working at UPA?
A. Sixty-two. While most of his friends were planning their retirement, Walter was starting a new business endeavor.
Q. Walter introduced to his employees two fundamental rules which can be used in everyday life. What were they?
A. The 80/20 rule and the 3-in-1 egg theory.
Q. In order to expand, Veeco had to go public. In order to go public, they needed newer, better technology that would capture the attention of investors. What did Walter and the rest of Veeco’s directors choose to develop?
A. Data storage
Q. What are some things we use today whose development was enabled by Veeco’s processing equipment?
A. Computers, video game consoles, VCRs, DVRs.
Walter wrote a parting memo when he retired from Veeco
If you had to compose a final statement about your life’s work, what would it say and whom would you want to read it?