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Three Moves Ahead

Podcast with successful entrepreneur and early-stage investor, Bob Rice

Bob Rice, Author of Three Moves Ahead Bob Rice

"Believe in pawn power. Knowledge workers are just as valuable for an organization as any executive. They demand and deserve respect and opportunities to contribute." - Bob Rice

Welcome to a Leadership Development edition of Total Picture Radio with Peter Clayton Reporting. Bob Rice was a long-time partner at Wall Street's prestigious Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, and McCloy. He left to start a software venture that was purchased by Viewpoint, a NASDAQ company of which he later became CEO. He is currently a Managing Partner of Tangent Capital, which structures financial products for hedge funds, a member of the "New York Angels" venture finance group, and on the faculty of Liminal Group, a New York City based executive training and management consulting firm.

Bob's new book, Three Moves Ahead - What Chess Can Teach You About Business, (Jossey- Bass), shows how classic chess strategies address the number one problem of Information Age executives: how to move quickly in the face of incalculable complexities and unexpected change.

Questions Peter Asked Bob

  • How would you explain the concept of your book to someone who's never played chess?
  • Even if you've never played chess you've probably heard of Bobby Fischer, and Garry Kasparov - Bob give us a brief history of what's happed in world chess over the past 100 years.
  • You attended the world championship chess match in 1992. Who else was in the room?
  • What resulted from those encounters?
  • Let's talk about the title of your book, Three Moves Ahead. What does that mean mathematically?
  • If you scan the business section of any Boarders or B&N you'll find a plethora of titles about execution, leadership, innovation, game theory, lots of success formulas. What's your take on this?
  • You write in your book about a trek you made to Redmond to pitch your then start-up to Microsoft. Tell us about that meeting.
  • I want to have you discuss the First Mover chapter, because you have a facinating comparison between the first move on a chess board and first mover advantage in business.. and how you relate this to the dot-com bust and the GBQ theory.
  • You borrowed a term from Mark Hurd, the CEO of HP - "red-shifting" can you explain what this means and how it relates?
  • What do you mean by priority zero?
  • You recommend getting a chess clock for your desk?
  • One of the topics you cover is something everyone in business can appreciate is overload. Most executives and managers I know are trying to juggle way too many things at the same time... and, at the same time, if these people could learn to delegate...
  • Bob, talk to me about pawns and knowledge workers.
  • One last idea I'd like to discuss. Although Three Moves Ahead is written from a business perspective it doesn't take much imagination to apply these concepts to one's career.

Book Description

This witty and novel guide, written for non-players, is packed with scores of real-world examples showing how top CEOs use Grandmaster techniques to win on Wall Street. Readers will see how a "strong square" strategy drove Adobe's rise from niche player to industry giant, as well as Western Union's success through a hundred years of technology changes. They'll learn how AOL has played a crucial "exchange sacrifice" to revive its fortunes, and how Google is taking turf from Microsoft with a "minority attack." Most importantly these days, they'll find out "what to do when you don't know what to do," and avoid the fate of companies like Polaroid, Gateway, and our dearly departed Ma Bell.

Bob Rice Biography

Bob Rice is a successful entrepreneur and early-stage investor, former public company CEO, and long-time Wall Street veteran. He began his career at the US Department of Justice as a trial attorney, and then became a partner at the prestigious international firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. But, bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, he left his law practice to found a technology company in the mid-90s. After its purchase by a public company, he became the acquirer's CEO when the tech bubble burst, and successfully transitioned its business model from desktop software to interactive advertising. Along the way, Bob founded the Wall Street Chess Club and co-founded the Professional Chess Association with Garry Kasparov. In those roles he ran many international chess events, created a "speedchess" series for ESPN, and produced "Maurice Ashley Teaches Chess", an award-winning chess software program for children. Bob is an active member of the New York Angels and serves on the boards of several private technology and media companies.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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