mardi 27 mars 2018

5 entrepreneurs to discover

So far, I've read 5 books about entrepreneurs. 

Howard Hughes (Howard Hughes corp);
Steve Jobs (Apple);
Alain Bouchard (Couche-Tard);
Phil Knight (Nike);
Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway).

In my opinion, the most exuberant and fascinating entrepreneur in America and perhaps the world has been Howard Hughes. Many years ago (probably 15 years ago), I read a book about Hughes written by Noah Dietrich (his personal assistant). That was a great book. Hughes directed movies, tried to be an aviator, tried to build a car that worked with steam and many, many, many other things, such as fucking the most beautiful girls in Hollywood. He was a kind of Elon Musk, but much more fascinating.

I really like Steve Jobs too, although he was hard on people. He had opinions. He tried LSD. He stank in his 20's. He went to India. He walked barefoot and drank carrot juice. He loved the Beatles and Bob Dylan and went out with Joan Baez just because she was with Bob Dylan before. He was a character and he had a lot of drive. He knew how to convince people. I think I would have had fun with him.

Phil Knight is a little bit like Jobs because he was curious and he travelled a lot. He was fascinated by Japan. He took big risks with his business, but he put a lot of efforts in it and it eventually paid off. He was interesting but probably not fascinating like the first two names.

Alain Bouchard worked pretty hard to build Couche-Tard. However, his biography doesn't portray a fascinating guy. Just a guy who worked on very small details, earned his money cent by cent, bubble gum by bubble gum. You can't read his book and say he doesn't deserve what he has now.

By far, the most boring guy seems to be Buffett. The guy has always had only one major fixation: making money. He showed little interest for many things including culture and travel. While he seems more friendly than the others, he also seems the most boring. That guy looks like he never did any crazy thing. I have a lot of respect for his financial skills but that's all.

I don't recommend books about these guys to make of you a better investor. I only recommend them to you to discover interesting characters that made their way through life ending them with many billions of dollars... while you'll probably end up yours with only a few hundred thousands of dollars. Or one or two millions, if you're lucky.

7 commentaires:

  1. Although certainly not as a charismatic leader as most of the businessmen Penetrator mentioned here…I would add the Winnipeg-born Bruce Flatt to that list… a visionary businessman and leader who re-structured the old Brascan outfit and turned it into the financial behemoth, Brookfield Asset Management. A very private and self-effacing leader whose quarterly letters to the shareholders make for must reading in a world where there is so much that doesn’t need to read.

    1. I don’t know about him. If his life has been special, I’d be interested to read about it.

    2. is a good article about Bruce Flatt from my own blog. I got the article from forbes as I recall...its a bit long but makes for an interesting read...Cheers

  2. Buffett reads 500 pages a day. His 'Becoming Warren Buffett' doc on Netflix is a good watch IMO. Also would recommend reading any of his 'Letters to Shareholders' as they contain all kinds of nuggets of investing wisdom.

    1. You’re right: he’s smart, he’s wise and he’s a huge influence on tons of people.

      However, he’s been an absent father and he showed very little interest about things happening outside USA.

      He’s not balanced at all.

  3. It takes a very UN-balanced individual to achieve MASSIVE success in any one area of life. You have to have laser like focus. All this talk about how bad Buffett is. Here's how Howard Hughes ended his amazing life:

    Later in life, he became a strange hermit who dreaded bacteria and avoided personal cleanliness. In the course of his weakening years, the great business person, Howard Hughes was known to stock his urine in containers. There are many backings to this fact. Some supported the statement by saying that it was a lonely phase of his life but never attempted such a strange thing of collecting urine in a bottle. And some said it was a harsh truth of his life as he was suffering badly in his last years of life.

    Although Howard Hughes was obsessed with cleanliness, he fought with psychological problems. In his later years of life, he locked himself in a dark room which was dirty and cloistered. Howard became hooked to codeine and other sedatives, became weak, wore tissue boxes as shoes, and stored his urine in jars. He expired in 1976, leaving a property worth one billion dollars.//

    Interesting sidenote: the three richest names in Canada are inter-generational families or dynasties that built up their wealth over generations: 1. The Thompsons 2. The Westons. 3. The Irvings.
    The man who built his fortune on his own and stands at number 4 and has had success in every kind of business is Jim Pattison. I doubt he's balanced. But he's probably a great person for young entrepreneurs to study.