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201 GREAT IDEAS for Your SMALL BUSINESS, Third Edition by Jane Applegate

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GREAT 193 IDEA: Herb Kelleher—Be a Maverick

Herb Kelleher, his friend Rollin King, and banker John Parker, sketched out the concept for Southwest Airlines on a cocktail napkin while sitting in a bar.

The notion was simple: transport passengers to destinations on time, charge the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time. If you've ever flown Southwest, you know that's what it's all about.

When I met Kelleher, he told me he always admired the way the now-defunct Pacific Southwest Airlines pioneered cheap, short-haul service throughout California. But trying to start a similar airline in Texas generated a firestorm of industry opposition and a tangle of red tape.

Undeterred, they kept pushing. Finally, after much wrangling, ...

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