Driving Change

Driving Change

The UPS Approach to Business

Hyperion, 2007 more...

Editorial Rating




The history of UPS is a century-long story about a visionary founder, Jim Casey, who took a simple idea and made it grow, forging a global delivery, logistics and transportation network. He built an exceptional company that recognizes the critical role of its employees and the need for constant renewal. Mike Brewster and Frederick Dalzell were given complete archival access ("warts and all," they say, although the book is very positive) to create this corporate biography for the company's 100th anniversary. They cover UPS's history and development, detailing Casey's visions and methods, and showing how UPS has become a leader in global shipping and logistics. Their enjoyable, informative book is as much an industrial engineering story as it is the biography of a company that has continually reinvented itself. getAbstract recommends it to businesspeople who want to see how diligent leaders built a global company.


Nevada Gold

Jim Casey, the founder of the global United Parcel Service (UPS), never let difficult circumstances deter him. In 1905, at 17, he left his family in Seattle to strike it rich in the aptly named town of Goldfield, Nevada, one of the West's legendary gold-mining towns. Casey and a friend sought a claim, but discovered that all the sites within 60 miles of town were already taken.

Cut out as prospectors, they decided to open a messenger service for the town's 30,000 inhabitants. Realizing that all of Goldfield's incoming messages funneled through a single switchboard, the partners negotiated a deal to deliver all the exchange's messages for $50 a month. Goldfield was a tough town, and Casey's partner got shot and killed as he made a delivery. Casey then contracted typhoid fever and his doctor told him to return to Seattle.

In 1907, Casey and his new partner, Claude Ryan, spent $100 to set up a new business, the American Messenger Service, in the basement of a Seattle tavern. With a single bicycle and a few boys hired from reputable families, they distinguished themselves from the town's nine other messenger companies by stressing good service and low...

About the Authors

Mike Brewster is a business writer and the author of Unaccountable and King of Capital. He and historian Frederick Dalzell are part of a consulting firm specializing in historical research and archival services for organizations. Dalzell’s other books include Changing Fortunes and Rising Tide.

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