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Otto: It's "Prime Time For Entrepreneurs"

Starting as a surfer, peddling sandals in beach shops along the California coast, Doug Otto has had his share of wipeouts.
Otto, the co-founder of Deckers Outdoor Corp., gave the main address at the 2009 Babson Entrepreneurship Forum. In his remarks, he noted that success only happens when you aren’t afraid to fail.
“We always kept a new project going, some of them were successful, some of them weren’t,” Otto said. “But you never know what’s going to pay off.”
As a maker of lifestyle brand products, Otto found success with Teva sandals and UGG boots. His company focused on taking niche products and making them market leaders.
By creating iconic products, his company was able to grow out of economic downturns in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
Otto said the time is right again for new businesses to pounce.
“I believe right now is the prime time for entrepreneurs,” Otto said. “When times are tough, the big companies are too busy looking at their balance sheets, looking to cost cut.”
“Look around you for the holes that are out there,” he said.

– By Andrew Lightman M’11