AirTight Management has developed a proprietary process that helps companies identify and break through their limitations so they can fix virtually any internal problems and begin growing more rapidly and profitably. AirTight combines thousands of proven principles and ideas from business gurus and thought leaders of the past seventy-five years with the latest technologies in running companies. We also have a network of proven experts in every area of business.
Our process includes a combination of services and intellectual property that allows a company and its managers to implement proven best practices and at least double their growth rate, market share, revenue and competitive position over time.
Our hybrid approach using both product (IP) and services makes this process highly cost efficient and uses a mix of consulting, training and coaching, designed for each company to guarantee success. AirTight Management addresses the issue Jim Collins discusses in the classic book Good to Great explaining that typically even a “Great” company requires eight to ten years to figure out its internal systems. Some companies never figure this out and go sideways for decades, never achieving their full potential. We can get you there fast.
We also help your managers become world-class leaders and grow personally and professionally to improve any company’s culture, strategy and execution as needed to achieve the desired results.
Our certified consultants all have a minimum of twenty years’ experience including line management positions, executive positions and many years consulting. No green Consultants billed at ridiculous hourly rates for the profit of Partners you never meet here. We are Entrepeneurs who have built many companies to $100 million plus in sales and sold them.
Summary of Some Key Achievements
- Speaker and author of The Startup Manual and Co-Author with Warren Bennis, The Father of Leadership on Leadership.
- Creator of The CEO Boot Camp and other advanced management and leadership training programs for CEOs, Entrepreneurs and senior executives.
- Experience developing market leading products and services since 1981 and in management since 1984. These include include startups, turnarounds and working in two multi-billion dollar enterprises (International Thomson Organization, now Thomson-Reuters, and Grumman, now Northrop Grumman). Consulted for many Fortune 100 companies.
- As a serial entrepreneur, Founder and CEO since 1989 Mr. Norton launched four startups. Two other startups in senior positions as Vice President and CTO and also had two positions as a Senior Engineer positions for eight total years. Hence, highly tech savvy.
- Expertise and proven success in all major disciplines including finance, P&L management, operations, sales, marketing, strategy, product development and business development.
- Founder HomeView (multimedia Realty Search Services), the world’s first high-definition, virtual touring company for residentail real estate (founded 1989). Achieved $156 million annualized sales within 1 year of a new product launch with a 6-fold increase in sales productivity over industry averages. Penetrated 72% of market in only 18 months.
- Generated over $1+ billion in total shareholder value (while at these companies).
- Drove sales from $0 to $100 million with 26% pretax profit in 5 years; added $35 million to revenue in a single year.
- Co-founder FIRST CALL Corporation, the world-wide monopoly at the time on distribution of real-time investment research recommendations from dozens of Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley and others. Developed the FIRST CALL global research distribution network, FIRST CALL Earnings Estimate product, VideoMunifacts and Portia portfolio management system.
- Launched more than 60 products and services that still generate over $1 billion in annual sales today.
Mr. Robert Norton, President and CEO of AirTight Management has been a full-time President and CEO of numerous successful companies since 1989. Two grew to over $100 million in annual sales while Mr. Norton was there and one grew from $0 to over $1 billion in revenue today. He has helped launch eight startup companies and consulted for over 200 companies to date on their strategy and products. Unlike most Consultants, his experience spans all key disciplines needed to start, grow and exit businesses in several industries. He can provide wide of experience and perspective across all disciplines that only experienced CEOs can.
With over 30 years experience, including former positions as Senior Software Architect, VP Engineering and CTO, Mr. Norton can understand both deep technical issues and strategic management issues. So often operations, product development, sales and marketing issues are deeply interwoven, requiring multidisciplinary experience to effectively solve problems. To weigh issues from a business, technical and practical management perspectives to make complex decisions. Mr. Norton’s vast experience allows for complete validation and/or improvement of entire business models for maximum growth and profit. He is also a specialist at designing long-term competitive advantage into businesses so profit margins can be maintained and stockholders build sustainable revenue and profits that can justify high P/E multiples on exit.
Mr. Norton, brings a diverse set of experiences and skills to client companies. He has over 30 years of success at building technology products and services, and profitable companies in both the high and low tech sectors and over 25 different industries.
With over 25 years as a Chief Executive Officer at four different start-up companies, Mr. Norton is seasoned at taking companies from their early development stage through their high growth phase. Companies and products he has been responsible for generate well over $1 billion in annual revenues today.
After working with a venture backed firm on a restart/turn-around where he recommended the sale of the company’s technology and put together an agreement to sell the company, Mr. Norton founded C-Level Enterprises to begin consulting full-time. His goal is to leverage his expertise across multiple ventures and help companies launch new products and services and grow at accelerated rates while also helping more established companies break through growth barriers that are holding them back.
At A+America (then Technlogy4Kids.com and sold to Schoolpop.com), a new media, e-commerce and offline media (brick & clicks) K-12 fundraising company, he functioned as President and CEO for 5 years. There he turned the company around from no recurring revenue and substantial debt to sales exceeding $1MM per month just from its e-commerce site on very little capital.
In 1989 Mr. Norton founded and served as President and CEO of HomeView, a multimedia information service company which quickly grew to $156 million in sales and over 120 employees. This business opened the market for high-resolution virtual touring of homes in 1991 when it launched. Tours of homes could be done at three offices and HomeView achieved 72% market penetration of brokers contributing their listing in under 18 months. Sales people using this system had six times the industry average sales at that time and closed one in 7 physical visits after eliminating homes with virtual tours, versus an industry average of 34 visits per sale. The company was sold to a group of investors who wanted to franchise the concept nationally in 1994 shortly after IBM decided to exit the VC investment business and backed out of the funding deal under its new CEO with little notice. Unfortunately, the new investors failed to scale the company’s already proven business model and shut it down after about 18 months.
Earlier in his career Mr. Norton held several significant technical and technical management positions including serving from 1984 to 1989 as Senior Architect, CTO/Vice President of Engineering and R & D for Thompson Financial Services and FIRST CALL Corporation. During that period he built several specialized global information systems for Wall Street that collect, aggregate and distribute data in real-time to thousands of customers even today. As head of product development he developed FIRST CALL, Bond Buyer’s VideoMunifacts, Portia, InvesTEXT, Real-time earning estimates and other products. This company was sold in 1986, after which he stayed with the $4 billion International Thomson Organization for a three year earnout to run product development and engineering for multiple Thomson owned sister companies and help with mergers and acquisitions.
He has also been instrumental in building other enterprise software, MIS systems, information networks and complex software systems for the insurance industry. Mr. Norton also developed several horizontal applications such as sales force automation, billing and security products that spanned multiple industries.
Mr. Norton speaks and has been a panel member at various Boston area universities including MIT, Boston University, Babson and Northeastern and others. Topics include business model development and optimization, entrepreneurship, financing, and startup company management. He has been a member of The CEO Group, IdeaSphere, WPI Enterprise Forum, The Association for Corporate Growth, The MIT Enterprise Forum, The National Association of Corporate Directors, The Seaplane Pilots Association and former member and Chair of the SBANE CEO Dialog program.
Mr. Norton enjoys sailing, flying, racquetball/squash, reading and helping philanthropic causes like family court reform, as these courts, and the sole custody they profit from, have been proven to be the cause of over 50% of all social problems and mental health issues today. Mr. Norton participates on non-profit boards and donates time to various local and national causes regularly.
Gordon has spent most of his career either as an entrepreneur or working for/with them. Learning from experience at Apple and Dell Computer as well as the school of hard knocks with several of his own businesses, he’s had many successes and a few “learning opportunities”. Along the way Gordon acquired a great deal of knowledge about what works and what doesn’t and it has become a passion to share that knowledge and experience with others.
While consulting with companies around the world, Gordon is always looking for ways to help his clients work smart and avoid the mistakes that so often cause businesses to grow slowly or in many cases fade away. Consulting, coaching and working with organizations who are looking to take advantage of any and all opportunities to succeed provide his greatest satisfaction.
Gordon’s background in sales, operations and day to day management has provided the wide breadth of experience to add substantial value to organizations of all categories and sizes. A willingness to listen and understand a problem before thinking about a solution is key to working with others and is a significant strength. As a lifelong learner, Gordon has always been able to stay ahead of the curve by bringing fresh ideas and new ways to solve old problems.
Gordon resides in Aliso Viejo, California with his wife Janell and is also passionate about his family, music and golf.