Networking Dinner 11.29.00:
Gary Hoover is the founder of Hoover's Online and BOOKSTOP Superstores.
In many respects, this gifted visionary and entrepreneur has done
it all. Hoover started subscribing to Fortune Magazine at the age
of 12. He visited hundreds of corporate headquarters, and studied
the stock market in depth, before he was 18. His question was the
same, "What separates the losers from the winners?" He studied economics
at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman and two other
Nobel Prize winners. Hoover later served as a Securities Analyst
for CitiBank on Wall Street, worked as a buyer for Federated Department
Stores, and headed up acquisitions and strategic planning for the
giant May Department Stores.
At the age of 30, Gary took the entrepreneurial plunge in Austin,
Texas and created the first book superstore, BOOKSTOP, which changed
the nature of book shopping in America. This company was sold to
Barnes & Noble for $41.5 million when it was 7 years old, and became
the cornerstone for their industry-dominating superstore chain,
which does over $3 billion a year in sales.
Gary then returned to his first love of understanding businesses
and began the small business information publisher, the Reference
Press. The company, now called Hoover's, Inc. is currently the world's
largest on-line provider of information about businesses. Hoover's
Online covers over 14,000 companies around the world. More than
1.5 million times a day, users worldwide access hoovers.com for
useful easy-to-read information about the world of enterprise. Like
BOOKSTOP, Hoover's has changed the way we do business.
Today, Gary Hoover travels the world speaking to Fortune 500 executives,
trade associations, entrepreneurs, and college students about how
enterprises are built and how they survive. From his own successes
and failures, and from the lessons of the thousands of companies
studied by Hoover's, he draws real-life examples that help audiences
navigate into the 21st Century.