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How I Founded a $2 Billion Company with a 95 Cent Book from RadioShack — Backchannel.

And there we were, standing in that inspirational stomping ground called RadioShack at the very time we needed a breakthrough in our loudspeaker strategy. And I spotted a little book on the shelf.

Yes, I know that RadioShack today is not often considered an “inspirational stomping ground,” but from the late 1970s into the early 1990s it was one of Silicon Valley’s creative epicenters.

Why? Because it supported the soul of Silicon Valley, the generations of tinkerers and builders who started small. And big things come from small packages. Yes, that’s a cliche, but it’s a good one. Especially for founders who are looking to create large opportunities from small resources. Startups aren’t normally lathered in cash at the outset (Polycom certainly wasn’t), but can be distracted by an unrelenting swirl of other people’s big things — like multi-million dollar investment announcements and billion dollar acquisitions. In that atmosphere it’s easy to lose sight of why small things matter and the difference they make in business and in life.

Read more.