What do you do when your Empire Comes Crashing Down Around You?

Champion company founder Mark Tebbe reached the heights, taking Lante public and seeing his company stock hit $87.50, before plummeting to 55 cents in the aftermath of the Internet bubble crashing and bringing down hundreds of stocks at the same time. This excerpt is from an interview with Mark Tebbe, Founder of Lante Corporation and later founder of Answers.com (ANSW) – featured in How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America

Q: Lante’s stock peaked at $87 1/2 and then dropped to 55 cents. How did you feel?
Tebbe: At the high point, my personal holding was worth about $1.25 billion, but I knew it couldn’t last. I ended up losing 99.7 percent of my net worth because, again, paper went up, paper went down. We sold the company for $1.10 a share.

Q: Those are tough decisions.
Tebbe: I knew my number

Q: What do you mean, your “number”?
Tebbe: Everybody has a number. It’s the amount of money you could live on for the rest of your life in a lifestyle that you desire and not have to worry about earning money. For me…

Read the rest of Mark Tebbe’s and 44 other company founders’ interviews in the book How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America.

How They Did It is a book of thoughts, ideas, and inspiration from the most successful company founders ever to come out of the heartland. Get inspired as they share their battle stories, their secrets to success, and insights on how to build a company from the ground up.

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