1998 Direct Marketer of the Year - Jay Walker
How did he take failure? "I put my heart and soul into every business," Walker said. "This is not an analytical or intellectual exercise. I'm talking emotional devastation." How did he keep going? "I have always been terrified of failure, but not paralyzed by it," Walker replied. "I am more terrified of not amounting to something."
Walker, by the way has a wife of many years and children. When asked how these business catastrophes affected his family, he shrugged. "I was an entrepreneur when she married me," he explained. "She said, 'I don't want to know. Tell me only if you absolutely have to tell me.'" Walker added that for 18 years she had a steady paycheck in IBM's human resources department.
DMB: Success #3
In the late 1980s, Joe Hanson sold his company to Cowles Media and retired. Folio and Catalog Age Editor Chuck Tannen found he was not happy working in a big corporation, so when Walker called, Tannen jumped.
"Tannen is phenomenal at what he does," Walker said. "What's more, he had been an entrepreneur and had his failures out of the way. As a struggling entrepreneur, you identify with other entrepreneurs who have survived failures."
Having spent years perfecting the great Folio shows for the magazine industry, Tannen immediately created the Direct Marketing to Business Conference (DMB) in 1990 with Dun & Bradstreet and Federal Express as sponsors. The conference was successful from year one. Recently sold to Cowles Media for a multimillion-dollar price, it is today the major show in the field.
Operations & Fulfillment: Success #4
Following the DMB success, Tannen surveyed the field of direct marketing publications and determined that an entire area of the catalog industry was not being served. So he and Walker launched Operations & Fulfillment—the magazine and, later, the conferences. Both DMB and Operations & Fulfillment were separate corporations with separate investors, so they were not affected by Jay's losses in Catalog Media.