The MouseDriver Story: After the Book

I had the fortunate opportuntiy to speak to a group of Harvard Business School Alumni last week in Austin. Amazingly, The MouseDriver Chronicles (the book Kyle Harrison and I wrote in 2002 chronicling our startup experiences) is still selling, still being read and still generating tons of questions about the small business experience. Who would have thought? At one point in time, the book make it into the classrooms of 150+ universities around the world, although I can’t imagine that number still holds.

In addition to the standard questions (like, ‘what in the hell were the two of you thinking when you decided to manufacture a novelty computer mouse out of your San Francisco apartment’), I’m consistently asked the same question: What happens to MouseDriver, you and Kyle after the book ends? It’s a pretty appropriate question as the book ends in December, 2000 whereas the MouseDriver story continued for another two years. Not our fault…the publisher was so anxious to get the book out and take advantage of the opportunity that we were ‘asked’ to end the book after the 2001 calendar year. So, what happened to us? Well, the MouseDriver Insider Newsletters kept going. In fact, we probably had more fodder during the second half of the story as some pretty crazy stuff started to happen…including a complete economic collapse, 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and one really dead-beat distributor. All of the MouseDriver Insiders are posted on the really, really old MouseDriver Chronicles site, so feel free to check them out. Start with ‘The Story Gets Better’ if you’ve already read the book (posted on 2-14-01).

We still have an option to write the 2nd half of The MouseDriver Chronicles, and coming from experience, I can tell you that Part II is much crazier and more entertaining than the original. Just a matter of find the time and the motivation to crank the second book out.

I’ll fill you in a bit more on what Kyle and I have actually been doing with our careers over the past 6 years in my next post. Lots of good stuff in there.

Questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to comment below.

John
www.twitter.com/johnlusk

PS It’s not lost upon me that this is my first MouseDriver post in over 6 years. Want to see where I’ve been posting my thoughts over the last couple of years? Check out the work I’ve done building a brand

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Comments

  1. says

    Loved hearing the whole MouseDriver story at the luncheon and believe the rest of the world should hear part 2! I hope you’ll find the time to write the rest of the story – lots of good lessons for entrepreneurs and also a ton of inspiration for people who have a great idea that they want to see get off the ground.

    6 years? Hmmm. It’s a good thing the story is timeless then. Entrepreneurs everywhere will always have their own “MouseDriver” in mind and your book(s) will give them a roadmap on how (and how not) to go about bringing it to market. Plus, it’s a hysterical read! I hope you’ll write the second book soon – I have no doubt it will be as entertaining and informative as the first one!

    • John Lusk says

      Thanks for the comments Elizabeth. I’m looking forward to summarizing the last 6 years and sharing those experiences on this blog as well. It’s really great to see that the story is truly timeless…and continues to motivate and inspire!!

      John

  2. Jill Austin says

    MD Chronicles part deux? Bring it on! Would love to read that one. Will the little dog be a part of it? Congrats on your success JL. You deserve it!

    • John Lusk says

      That dog would most likely make every chapter. As would Kyle walking it at midnight so that nobody would see him. Classic!

  3. Neal Freeland says

    Congratualtions on starting the new blog. Looking forward to reading your thoughts and participating in your social media/SEO/marketing tests.

    • John Lusk says

      Thanks Neil. A ton of work still need to be done to the blog, but in the name of appeasing the spiders, I felt like I could trade off aesthetics for content! Look forward to keeping you entertained.

  4. Whitney Ball says

    I remember the apartment and the big old Texas flag that you guys hung so proudly. Those were some great days my friend. Our signed copy of MD Chronicles sits on our bookcase and somewhere in an unpacked box is the tech magazine which you and Kyle had a great article in with fabulous pictures that were taken in that cool alley where Ali used to work. I’m psyched about the new blog and look forward to the MD sequel. Happy writing…

  5. John Lusk says

    How about the 5000 mice stacked from floor to ceiling. That apartment setup was ridiculous. Still can’t believe we were packaging and shipping product out of that place. Classic. Will see if the blog topics can match the fodder of the MD Insider…hard to top some of those experiences though.

  6. says

    John & Kyle- I still remember when Rick Connelly introduced us to you back in the “early days.” I was then Publisher of Golf Retailer Magazine and you guys were coming to Vegas for the PGA International Show. We sat on a couch in our hotel suite for the Golf Retailer party and brainstormed on how to get our readers (the “off-course” retail golf shop owners) to buy vanloads of Mouse Drivers. What fun that was. I still ahve thsigned copy of your book in my bookshelf next to my desk. A prized possession for sure. Thanks for the trip back down memory lane!

    • John Lusk says

      Good times indeed! I vividly remember that trade show…and all of the ridiculous shenanigans. Fun times. Glad it brings back some good memories for you!

      Hope you’re doing well.

      John

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  2. [...] business school when I could have spent 3 months traveling through Africa and Asia (I chose to start a company selling computer mice out of my apartment in San Francisco instead).  The second time was after [...]