O'Reilly logo

Amway Forever: The Amazing Story of a Global Business Phenomenon by Kathryn A. Jones

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

First Attempts

Jay and Rich hoped to capitalize on the trend. They both liked airplanes and had worked with them during the war, so they decided their first enterprise should be to build a business around them. A mutual friend, Jim Bosscher, suggested the three of them pool their money and buy an airplane. Rich was still in the Army, but he pitched in his share. Jay and Bosscher bought a two-seat Piper Cub in Detroit with a down payment of $700. “We didn’t know the first thing about flying, so we had to hire a pilot to fly it from Detroit to Grand Rapids,” Jay recalled. “In this way Rich became part owner of an airplane before he ever owned a car!”1

The next problem was how to pay for the plane. The partners decided to open a flying service. They named it Wolverine Air Service—a take on Michigan’s nickname, “The Wolverine State.” They offered flying instruction, rides, group transportations, and airplane sales and rentals. “If you can drive a car—you can fly a plane,” read an advertisement for Wolverine. Never mind that none of the three partners themselves knew how to fly. They found two former military pilots who had flown bombers, and Bosscher, who had worked as an aircraft mechanic during the war, handled the mechanical work. When the planned new local airstrip ran out of money, the partners attached pontoons to the bottom of the Piper Cub and landed and took off from the Grand River—a bit of improvisation that worked until the airpark opened. “Try or cry, that’s my slogan,” ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required