The Bastard's a Genius: Robert Clifford - from schoolboy dunce to shipbuilding entrepreneur
'Bob Clifford is a hero of mine. I actually sought him out because I wanted to find out how on earth he had learned to do what he has done ... How did he do it? I believe he is a genius.' - Dick Smith
The story of how Robert Clifford went from being a poor student to a global shipping entrepreneur reads more like adventure fiction than cold hard fact. But it is all true. The tale contains the usual quota of disaster and triumph, spiced with a fascinating account of ingenuity and invention at work. After all, if you go into business, you might as well experience a financial meltdown and a bank receivership. If you take up yachting, you might as well win the Sydney-Hobart race in a near photo-finish. If you invent and then dominate a global fast-ferry market, you might as well win the Hales Trophy for the fastest Atlantic crossing, not once but three times.
But behind the swashbuckling adventure story lies a complex, affectionate and little-understood man of surprising sensitivity and creativity. He is an all-action hero consumed by the need to conceive, shape and bring to fruition objects of great utility and beauty. He is a man quite unlike the standard-issue 'businessman' and much more like those distinguished artists and scientists who are impelled by some inner voice to do the work they do.
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Part two Opportunity
Part three Establishment
Part four Playing with the big boys
Part five A test of character
Part six Onwards ever upwards
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