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Best Selling Book By GSD Partner Gus Vidaurreta

As an entrepreneur, consultant, and someone who has founded and run numerous successful ventures with my partner Tom Richardson, we have come to understand that the most important component to success in business is the power of relationships.

Most recently I joined the GSD Team as Chief Strategy Officer where I will bring my decades of knowledge and experience, specifically as it relates to the power of relationships and Relationship Asset Management.

Our NYT best-selling book called ‘Business is a Contact Sport’ details our management strategy called Relationship Asset Management (RAM) which we refer to as “the new model for organizational and individual success.”

The book is based on the story of a startup that experienced explosive growth, after acknowledging that relationships were assets with equal value to other better-known assets such as cash, inventory, technology, and human resources.

You are familiar with the saying “it takes a village." RAM is largely based on this concept. Just about anything is possible if the right relationships are enrolled to help make it happen.

RAM introduces the entrepreneur to the “relationship universe” and to “stakeholder groups” concepts as these apply to their use in accelerating success.

RAM teaches the entrepreneur strategies to:

  • Define his/her existing relationship universe

  • Assess the “health” of this universe

  • Is it complete? Are all the needed stakeholder groups populated?

  • Are the existing relationships active? Have they been damaged?

  • “Hunt” for relationships targeting underpopulated or priority stakeholder groups.

  • “Gather” relationships by reactivating and repairing existing relationships.

RAM is a lot more than just the creation of a large and healthy relationship universe. This is a foundational step. The power of RAM comes fully into play when these relationships are properly mined to obtain value, in this case, mind to accelerate success. This is accomplished through a strategy that involves the identification of the relationships most likely to be able to help, and how to enroll these into your project through a system of “free value exchange.”

The principles of RAM have been applied to many growing and already large organizations, always with impressive results. Some of these large organizations include American Express, Centex Roony, and the World Bank. The subject was presented in 26 US universities.

In 2006 the book was translated to Mandarin. The book was very successful in China and this led to a book tour that included four major Chinese cities and seven universities.

Tom and I formed part of a well-recognized group of serial entrepreneurs. Our contributions have always been anchored on using the principles of RAM to drive accelerated growth into entrepreneurial projects, with great success.

I am thrilled to bring this same framework to GSD Venture Studios and their portfolio companies!

About Augusto L. Vidaurreta (Gus)

From 1972 until 1982 Gus worked at The Miami Herald Publishing Company, where he held different positions in the business side of the newspaper. In 1984 he joined the consulting division of Arthur Andersen (now Accenture). He stayed with AA until 1988 when he left with other Andersen managers and founded The Systems Consulting Group (SCG), a full-service information system consulting firm. Although SCG never solicited external funding, it grew rapidly, and it was twice listed by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing 500 private companies.

In August of 1995 Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP) purchased SCG for 30 million dollars. Gus served as a Vice President in CTP until June of 1998. During that time, he was responsible for the operations of the U.S. South East region and Latin America. The two regions combined to staff over 500 professionals and generated over 50M in yearly revenues.

Gus became involved in other diversifying ventures after the sale of SCG. During the last 20 years Gus has:

  • Funded and started Adjoined Consulting – sold to Cap Gemini,

  • Owned and operated the famous Firehouse IV restaurant,

  • Purchased, grew, and sold P&L Packaging (plastics),

  • Was an active part owner of 3 hotels, one in Singer Island and two in Jacksonville, Fl – All successfully sold.

  • Was part of the financing group of Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink.

  • Was part of the starting ownership group for Horizon Bank – sold in 2006.

  • Served as a Partner at Rocket Wagon, an IoT consulting firm.

Gus is currently a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at GSD Venture Studios, a Silicon Valley group involved in the Artificial Intelligence space. GSD looks for the best AI solutions all over the world and helps the entrepreneur “go global” with an emphasis on the US market. Gus is mainly responsible for the development of the US value proposition, the go-to-market strategy, and later for business development in the US and Western Europe.

In 2001 Gus co-authored the popular book Business Is a Contact Sport, and co-founded RAM Strategy, Inc., a consulting, training and executive coaching firm built around Relationship Asset Management (RAM), the main topic of the book. The book was New York Times bestseller and has been translated to Chinese and Polish. He has lectured on the topic of RAM at The World Bank, American Express, Centex Rooney, Trivest, The Miami Chamber and the following universities: Carnegie Mellon, Texas, Florida, Maryland, Miami, Florida International, Arizona, Babson, George Washington, George Mason, DePaul, Illinois, Northern Illinois, Emory and UCLA. Gus completed a tour of China in the spring of 2005 to present the concept of RAM.

Gus has an extensive relationship universe in South Florida and other major markets. He practices what he wrote in the book.

Gus earned a B.A. degree from Miami Dade Community College (1976) a B.S. in Business from Florida International University (1980) and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Florida (1984). In 1996 he was one of the finalists for Florida’s entrepreneur of the year. Also, in 1996 the University of Florida Graduate School selected him as the outstanding alum. In 1999 he was selected by Florida International University as the outstanding alum for the School of Business. In 2001 Gus was selected by Florida International University to enter its "Entrepreneur" wall of fame. Gus was selected as the graduation keynote speaker at Florida International University in 2003 and at the University of Florida in 2004.

Most recently Gus has taken management courses at MIT in the area of the Internet of Things with an emphasis on its impact on business models. Gus lives on the beach with his wife Jeanie.

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