Steves started his career by teaching travel classes at his alma mater, University of Washington, and working as a tour guide in the summer. At the time, he also worked as a piano teacher (his father had owned a piano store). In 1979, based on his travel classes, he wrote the first edition of Europe Through the Back Door a general guide on how to travel in Europe. Steves self-published the first edition of his travel skills book ETBD in 1980.
Unlike most guidebook entrepreneurs, he opened a storefront business, which at first was both travel center and piano teaching studio. He held travel classes and slide shows, did travel consulting, organized a few group tours per year, and updated his books. He did not provide ticket booking or other standard travel agency services. He incorporated his business as “Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door.” The store was in Steves’ hometown of Edmonds, Washington (a city north of Seattle). The company’s headquarters are still in Edmonds. Watch this video interview, a look back at his amazing career to date via 60 minutes.
Tim Cook learned a lot from Steve Jobs, and one of the big takeaways seems to be: Don’t tip your hand. The Apple CEO was unwilling to tackle questions about any future product plans during his first appearance on the D10 stage Wednesday night.
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