Biography

WHAT’S BEING SAID
ABOUT MIKE SMOCK:

...”wouldn't you love to have this guy working for you?”
David Sims - TMCnet Contributing Editor

..."wikked smaht" as they say in Boston.
Harry Joiner - Marketing Headhunter

“...a warrior who knows how to use reason.”
Paul Greenberg - Author, CRM Guru

“David Ogilvy and Bill Bernbach would have sided with Smock.”
Marc Babej - Forbes Columnist

...A working man's version of Michael Porter.
Curt Sahakian - Corporate Partnering Institute


Mike Smock was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He went to college at Michigan State University, where he majored in urban planning and was a walk-on pitcher for the Spartan baseball team. Pitching a lot of hardball as a kid taught him to duck and the difference between good and bad strategy. He was a member of Sigma Chi and President of the MSU Interfraternity Council.

After college, Smock joined Kingsport, TN., based AFG Industries in 1977 as a sales trainee where he was taught the art of product differentiation (flat glass). At AFG he was responsible for implementing the Strategic Planning Institute's (a collaboration of GE and Harvard Business School) PIMS (Profit Impact of Marketing Strategy) Program. It was here that Smock was first introduced to the work of Michael Porter. He also had the opportunity of participating in one of the first LBO’s when AFG was acquired by Fourco Glass via a leveraged buyout.

He left AFG for South Side Chicago based Allied Tube and Conduit where he extended his product differentiation skills (steel pipe and tubing) as a senior sales and marketing manager. While at Allied, Smock met Skip Roberts, a computer science professor. Together they conceived a business plan designed to take advantage of opportunities created by the early 1980’s personal computer boom. This business plan led to Smock resigning from Allied Tube to co-found Dynaquest - an early artificial intelligence pioneer. Together they raised venture funding via an R&D limited partnership and launched Dynaquest. The success of Dynaquest was profiled by more than 300 print and broadcast outlets including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Inc., Venture, Fortune and a profile in the Wall Street Journal.

Smock left Dynaquest to create a small leveraged buyout group called Smock McGhee. He would evaluate more than 200 deals over a two year period before acquiring Associated Piping and Engineering (AP&E) from Johnson Controls in 1987. Smock moved his family out to Salt Lake City to run AP&E. Over the next 24 months Smock rebuilt the company, growing backlog from $3 million to $90 million, revenues from $9 million to $50 million and profitability from a loss of $3 million to a profit of $6 million. He traveled Asia extensively negotiating several large supply transactions with Japanese trading companies and major construction contracts with Taiwanese and Chinese power plant operators. It was during this time that Smock was first introduced to Sun Tzu's Art of War and the ancient Asian game of Go. He then sold the company to Vinson Supply in 1991.

In 1992 Smock established a private consulting practice focused on marketing strategy and campaigning. His clients have ranged from the Fortune 500 to small privately-held enterprises. In 1994 his consultancy helped conceive and launch one of the very first business to business sites on the internet for client Marshall Industries the NYSE electronic parts distributor. His consulting group is a veteran of market share battles between Syquest and Iomega, Moss Software vs. Siebel and Gramicci vs. Patagonia. In total he has executed more than 500 marketing campaigns in 38 industries over a 25 year career. He resides in San Anselmo, CA., with his wife Susan and two kids.