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A. Alfred Taubman

One of the most successful real estate developers in U.S. history, Alfred Taubman virtually invented a fixture of the suburban landscape, the enclosed shopping mall. During the mid-20th century, when most stores were stand-alone, Taubman embraced new ideas about design — ideas that he thought made sense but were, at the time, on the fringe. Most of the malls developed by Taubman featured a bright white color scheme with contemporary, geometric ceiling designs and skylights. Shoppers flocked to them. Today Taubman trades on the NYSE, has a market cap around $4.5 billion.

What’s the lesson? Click ahead for the takeaway.

Dimitrios Kambouris | WireImage