This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
David, the 15-year-old shepherd boy doing battle with the giant Goliath, is a classic prototype of the little guy going up against and beating the big and favored bully. Let's face it, we all enjoy rooting for the underdog.
I recently had the opportunity to visit with a modern-day David. Mark Blake of Gold Leaf Directories in Richfield, Utah is not afraid of the giants in his industry, and he knows that big battles can offer big rewards. You see, Mark is in the business of compiling, publishing and distributing telephone directories. Historically this business has been the domain of giant telephone companies who have had a virtual monopoly on the directory business for many years. Gold Leaf Directories is a different story.
The Federal Government passed laws to mandate that phone numbers and listings be "public information," made available at a reasonable price. With this listing information, Mark knew he could not only compete with the "giant" telephone companies but also provide a better product at a better price.
Mark gained his background while working in St. George in the computer business. He met a client who produced independent telephone directories and expressed interest in hiring Mark to run the business. Mark gained valuable experience and then decided he wanted to move back home to the Sevier Valley and start his own business.
Mark published and distributed his first product to Colorado's Mesa County and Grand Junction communities. These cities' demographics indicated a need for a competing directory, and Mark was confident that he could provide one to satisfy those needs.
A private corporation recently completed a survey in Grand Junction to determine which telephone directory is the most utilized. The Gold Leaf directory was the overwhelming choice of users. And that, my friends, is why we root for the underdog.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.