Powerful lessons in forward-thinking leadership from the global business pioneer, Pat McGovern, who turned IDG into a $3 billion technology media and venture capital empire.


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Like Steve Jobs, Patrick McGovern created a worldwide multibillion-dollar industry by thinking differently, disrupting old business models, and embracing new global trends. His company, International Data Group (IDG), broke new ground in the 1980s by opening offices in China, India, the Soviet Union, and other markets deemed off-limits.

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10 essential lessons from a legendary leader

“Through his work at IDG, Patrick McGovern shaped the way that millions of people grew to understand the enormous potential of computers and how they would change the world. He was also known for being a caring and thoughtful boss – two traits that extended to his generous philanthropy.”

– Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft

“Every great leader, from Benjamin Franklin to Steve Jobs, leaves behind a valuable set of lessons to be learned from their lives and careers. Pat McGovern was such a leader, and in this insightful book, Glenn Rifkin provides a dramatic, clear-eyed look at this visionary entrepreneur and the leadership lessons he used to build his global company. McGovern’s wisdom about business and people puts him in the pantheon of the best and most successful leaders.”

– Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, and The Innovators

"Glenn Rifkin has beautifully captured the Pat McGovern I knew and admired: curious, bold, innovative and visionary. Pat was a true MIT original, with an iconic story of entrepreneurial success. 'Future Forward' reminds us of Pat's extraordinary commitment to the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, an anchor for arguably the greatest concentration of brain science researchers on the planet. I am delighted that a wide audience will have this wonderful opportunity to read about Pat's impact - past, present and future - on science and society."

– L. Rafael Reif, president of MIT

“Pat McGovern was one of the most important - and least famous - media moguls of the 20th century. Glenn Rifkin gives you a chance to get to know him, and shares some of the key lessons from a business empire that stretched from Boston to Beijing.”

– Scott Kirsner, Columnist, The Boston Globe and Co-Founder, Innovation Leader

Book Reviews

  • <font color=Glenn Rifkin" />
    “In Future Forward, leaders will find 10 essential lessons that can be easily applied to any business, from small startups to giant corporations. These include: “Let’s try it. Encourage entrepreneurial behavior and back it up with serious commitment.”, “Love your employees. Adore your customers.”
    Glenn Rifkin
    Author and Contributing Writer New York Times
  • <font color=Ted Bloom" />
    “Pat always believed that each of IDG's business units should run like independently managed companies, and that structure and process will continue. The best way we can all honor Pat is for us to continue being successful with the structure he set up 50 years ago.”
    Ted Bloom
    Former CEO and CFO of IDG