Logo
    Search

    Podcast Summary

    • Jeff Bezos on Sleep and Smart Business InvestmentsInvest in quality sleep for optimal decision-making and consider using 8 Sleep mattress for temperature control. Explore Visto for smart business cash investments, earning interest while idle.

      Prioritizing high-quality sleep and making smart investments for your business are essential for success. I'm excited to share that I'll be doing a live show in New York City on October 19th with Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like the Best. In our latest episode, Jeff Bezos shared the importance of getting enough sleep for optimal decision-making. I highly recommend investing in an 8 Sleep mattress, which allows you to control the temperature for better sleep. Additionally, Visto is a product that helps businesses invest their idle cash in US treasuries, earning interest while it sits there. Several founder friends have found success with Visto, and you can even speak directly with the founder, Ben, by scheduling a demo. Back to Jeff Bezos, he emphasized the importance of setting high standards, as seen in the movie "The Aviator," where Howard Hughes insisted on flawless rivets for his aircraft. Apply these lessons to your own life and business for optimal growth. Get your tickets to the live show at founderspodcast.com, and don't forget to take advantage of the discounts on 8 Sleep and Visto.

    • Jeff Bezos' Leadership Principles at AmazonJeff Bezos instilled high standards, innovation, and customer obsession in Amazon's team by setting clear expectations, living by example, and repeating guiding principles.

      Effective leadership involves setting high standards, communicating them clearly, and living by example. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, instilled these principles in his team from the very beginning, and they became the foundation of Amazon's culture. He handpicked core team members and pursued a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a new and compelling experience for customers. Bezos emphasized the importance of innovation and instilled guiding principles such as customer obsession, unrelenting high standards, and bias for action. He was hands-on, involved in every aspect of the business, and reminded his team that "it has to be perfect." By repeating these principles consistently, Bezos was able to teach them to his team and build a successful company. The book "Working Backwards" by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr provides insights into Bezos' unique leadership style and the principles that shaped Amazon.

    • Focus on speed and efficiency with under promising and over deliveringAmazon's success is due to Jeff Bezos' strategies of under promising and over delivering for faster delivery times, single threaded leadership, and eliminating dependencies to spend less time coordinating and more time building.

      Amazon's success can be attributed to their focus on speed and efficiency. Jeff Bezos implemented the strategy of under promising and over delivering, surprising customers with faster delivery times. He also believed that for each project, there should be a single leader with a focused team, a concept known as single threaded leadership. By eliminating dependencies and reducing the need for internal communication, Amazon was able to spend less time coordinating and more time building. This innovative approach allowed them to move faster and conduct a higher number of experiments per unit of time, ultimately driving innovation and growth.

    • Eliminating Communication and Coordination BottlenecksFocusing on reducing dependencies and coordination allows teams to work in parallel, leading to faster building, experimenting, and the creation of innovative products. Great leadership and quick decision-making are crucial for success.

      , according to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, the key to building a successful organization lies in eliminating the need for excessive communication and coordination among teams. Instead, Bezos advocated for loosely coupled interaction via well-defined APIs, allowing teams to act autonomously and move faster. By focusing on reducing dependencies and coordination, teams can work in parallel, leading to more building, experimenting, and ultimately, the creation of unpredictable but lucrative products. Bezos also emphasized the importance of quick decision-making and great leadership as the limiting factors for innovation and growth within an organization. In essence, Bezos believed that by eliminating communication and coordination bottlenecks, teams could move faster and build more, ultimately leading to greater success for the organization.

    • Leadership model and idea development at AmazonSingle threaded leadership, clear accountability, and focus are crucial for effective invention and innovation. Amazon improved idea development by replacing PowerPoint presentations with narratives in Microsoft Word.

      For effective invention and innovation, full commitment and ownership under a single threaded leadership model are crucial. Jeff Bezos, like Peter Thiel, evaluates individuals based on one thing only, which facilitates clear accountability and focus. Amazon, which heavily relies on the written word for idea development, also learned to replace PowerPoint presentations with narratives after discovering their limitations. By mandating the use of Microsoft Word for presentations and requiring team members to write short narratives, Jeff Bezos fostered deeper thought, better understanding, and interconnectedness of ideas. This shift not only improved Amazon's competitive advantage but also demonstrated the importance of a shared base of knowledge and continuous learning from various sources.

    • Learning from Books: A Key Habit of Successful EntrepreneursSuccessful entrepreneurs prioritize learning and reading, extract unique insights, and use a systematic approach to create innovative products.

      Successful entrepreneurs, like those who raised money from billionaires, prioritize learning and reading to gain valuable insights that can help them build better businesses and make more money. Jeff Bezos, for example, has an uncanny ability to extract unique insights from what he reads by assuming each sentence is wrong until he can prove otherwise. This mindset, along with the use of narrative structures in meetings and product design, has been a key factor in Amazon's success. By starting with the desired customer experience and working backwards, teams can clarify their thoughts and create innovative products. This systematic approach, embodied in the PR FAQ, has been a central tenet of Amazon's culture since 2004.

    • Work backwards from a press releaseAmazon's innovation process involves creating detailed mockups and narratives based on a press release, which helps to invert the typical product development process and deliver customer-focused products.

      Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was known for pushing his team to think thoroughly and precisely about their ideas by insisting on the creation of detailed mockups and narratives. This approach, which involved working backwards from a press release announcing the product's features and benefits to customers, helped Amazon to invert the typical product development process and create innovative products like the Kindle and eventually, the Amazon Echo. The team learned that half-baked thinking was harder to disguise in written form than in PowerPoint presentations, and Bezos used his role as a forcing function to drive the team towards producing complete and well-thought-out ideas. This method helped Amazon to consistently deliver customer-focused products and services.

    • Working backwards: A method for innovative product developmentFocusing on customer experience, using constraints as 'forcing functions', and continuously learning from data and anecdotes can lead to innovative product development and a more valuable company.

      Working backwards, a method popularized by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, can lead to innovative product development and the acquisition of new skills for a company. By focusing on creating a product that delivers an excellent customer experience, teams are forced to invent multiple solutions to customers' problems. Constraints, such as limiting the length of press releases and FAQs, act as "forcing functions" that develop better thinkers and communicators. Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, emphasized the importance of customer obsession and even required corporate employees to work in customer service. By combining data and anecdotes, companies can create powerful solutions that check and balance each other. Jeff Bezos' belief system, expressed through his actions, became the language of Amazon. He learned from other companies and implemented their successful ideas, such as Toyota's continuous improvement process, to enhance Amazon's offerings. Overall, working backwards and focusing on the customer experience, combined with the use of constraints and continuous learning, can lead to successful product development and a more valuable company.

    • Empowering front-line workers and long-term thinkingAmazon's success comes from empowering workers to address issues quickly, long-term thinking, and focusing on customer differentiation through innovative products

      Amazon's success in inventing and staying competitive comes from their willingness to fail, experiment, and focus on differentiation that matters to customers. This is exemplified by their use of the Andon Cord in production and the development of the Kindle. The Andon Cord empowers front-line workers to quickly address quality issues, while the long-term thinking and patience Amazon employs allows them to stick with inventive initiatives for years, even when they don't produce immediate returns. Working backwards, a process that starts with identifying customer needs, helps Amazon develop new skills and invent where differentiation truly matters. This approach, which can be uncomfortable at first, has led Amazon to create innovative products like the Kindle, which differentiated them from competitors in the e-book market.

    • Jeff Bezos visits Steve Jobs at AppleSingle threaded leadership and strategic planning are crucial in adapting to competitive threats.

      The iPod and iTunes significantly influenced the development of the Kindle at Amazon, despite the company's initial reliance on physical book sales. In 2003, Jeff Bezos and his team visited Steve Jobs at Apple to discuss iTunes for Windows, which marked Apple's entry into the digital music market and threatened Amazon's business model. Instead of reacting impulsively, Bezos focused on organizational structure and appointed a single threaded leader, Steve, to run digital media. This strategic decision allowed Amazon to adapt to the shifting market and transition from physical to digital media. The key lesson here is the importance of single threaded leadership and strategic planning in response to competitive threats.

    • Jeff Bezos' focus on invention for long-term successAmazon's success comes from offering unique value propositions through invention, rather than copying competitors, leading to the creation of innovative products and services like the Kindle, and differentiating the company from competitors.

      Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, believed that true invention was essential for long-term success and value creation. He recognized the importance of offering unique value propositions to customers, rather than being a fast follower or copycat. This mindset led Amazon to focus on inventing new products and services, such as the Kindle, instead of simply copying successful offerings from competitors. Bezos understood that in the digital media business, having the broadest selection was no longer a competitive advantage due to low barriers to entry. Instead, Amazon ventured to either side of the value chain, focusing on applications and devices for digital content consumption. This inventive approach not only differentiated Amazon from competitors but also created greater value for customers and shareholders. Bezos' innovative thinking and willingness to disrupt the status quo continue to inspire and influence business strategies today.

    • Amazon's bold step into hardware manufacturing with KindleDespite lacking necessary skills, Bezos invested in acquiring them to innovate and differentiate, leading to the creation of the Kindle and Amazon's expansion into hardware industry

      Amazon, a company known for e-commerce, took a bold step into hardware manufacturing with the Kindle e-reader. At the time, this was a controversial decision as Amazon lacked the necessary skills in-house. However, Bezos understood that outsourcing the development would limit their ability to innovate and differentiate, leading them to acquire the skills and resources necessary to become a hardware company. This decision not only led to the creation of the Kindle but also set the stage for Amazon to continue expanding its capabilities and entering new markets. The strategic importance of the Kindle project was clear to Bezos, who was willing to invest significant resources to make it a success. Additionally, Bezos was inspired by the constant connectivity feature of the BlackBerry and aimed to create a similar experience for e-books with the Kindle.

    • Jeff Bezos' Meeting with Steve Jobs in 2003: A Game Changer for AmazonBezos' meeting with Jobs inspired Amazon to prioritize customer obsession, leading to the creation of Amazon Prime and continuous innovation to offer fast and free shipping as the norm.

      Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was known for his patience, long-term thinking, and customer obsession. A pivotal moment for Amazon came in 2003 when Bezos met with Steve Jobs, which influenced Amazon's business model. One outcome of this meeting was the creation of Amazon Prime in 2005, which initially offered members free two-day shipping. Bezos' vision was to eventually offer fast and free shipping as the norm, but Amazon's fulfillment capabilities were not yet advanced enough. Instead of stopping there, Amazon started building towards this goal. Bezos was uncomfortable with mediocrity and constantly pushed for optimal customer experiences, even if Amazon didn't have the necessary skills yet. He believed in the alignment of long-term shareholder and customer interests and acted accordingly. This customer-focused approach led Amazon to continually innovate and improve, ultimately shaping the company into the industry leader it is today.

    • Jeff Bezos' innovative thinking led to Amazon Prime's successAmazon Prime's success was driven by Jeff Bezos' vision to differentiate through innovative offerings like free streaming video and creating their own content.

      Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was known for his innovative thinking and ability to differentiate his company from competitors. During a meeting in the early stages of Amazon Prime, an unexpected site-wide outage forced a cancellation and rescheduling. Instead of meeting at the office, Jeff suggested holding the meeting at his house, where the team discussed ways to add value to the Prime membership. Jeff's idea of offering free streaming video to Prime members was inspired by Netflix's early strategy of providing streaming as an added benefit to existing subscribers. This move set Amazon apart from competitors and contributed to the success of Amazon Prime. The team also realized that to continue differentiating, they needed to create their own content, leading to Amazon Studios. In essence, Jeff's vision of building a moat around Amazon's best customers through innovative offerings and constant differentiation proved to be a successful strategy.

    • Recognizing the need for companies to focus on innovation instead of infrastructureAmazon Web Services (AWS) revolutionized the tech industry by offering infrastructure services, allowing companies to focus on their unique offerings and innovations, rather than mundane tasks.

      Companies, especially those experiencing rapid growth, often spend a significant amount of time and resources on maintaining their technology infrastructure, leaving less time for innovation. Jeff Bezos and his team at Amazon recognized this phenomenon, known as "undifferentiated heavy lifting," and saw an opportunity to provide a solution through Amazon Web Services (AWS). By offering infrastructure services, AWS enabled companies to focus on what made them unique, rather than on mundane tasks. This not only helped these companies grow but also crystallized the ideas and thoughts of the AWS product development teams. The metaphor of providing world-class computing infrastructure to a student in a dorm room was a powerful one that guided AWS's product development. Overall, this insight led to a game-changing business model and a significant contribution to the tech industry.

    • Benefits of Participating in an AMA on the Founders PodcastEngage in insightful Q&A sessions, promote your website, and network with entrepreneurs and enthusiasts through the Founders Podcast AMAs.

      Participating in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on the Founders Podcast can bring numerous benefits. By asking thoughtful questions, you not only gain knowledge from the expert's responses but also allow other members to learn from your inquiries. Additionally, you can promote your website and potentially attract new paying customers through this platform. The podcast hosts plan to release several new episodes every week, making it an excellent resource for entrepreneurs and enthusiasts alike. If you're a fan of the Founders Podcast, consider becoming a member by using the link in the show notes or visiting the website directly. This active engagement not only broadens your learning but also provides opportunities for networking and business growth.

    Recent Episodes from Founders

    #356 How The Sun Rose On Silicon Valley: Bob Noyce (Founder of Intel)

    #356 How The Sun Rose On Silicon Valley: Bob Noyce (Founder of Intel)

    What I learned from reading The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce: How the Sun Rose on Silicon Valley by Tom Wolfe. 

    Read The Intel Trinity: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World's Most Important Company by Michael Malone with me. 

    ----

    Founders Notes gives you the superpower to learn from history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand. You can search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    Build relationships with other founders, investors, and executives at a Founders Event

    ----

    (1:00) America is today in the midst of a great technological revolution. With the advent of the silicon chip, information processing, and communications, the national economy have been strikingly altered. The new technology is changing how we live, how we work, how we think. The revolution didn't just happen; it was engineered by a small number of people. Collectively, they engineered Tomorrow. Foremost among them is Robert Noyce.

    (2:00) Steve Jobs on Robert Noyce: “He was one of the giants in this valley who provided the model and inspiration for everything we wanted to become. He was the ultimate inventor. The ultimate rebel. The ultimate entrepreneur.”

    (4:00) When you read biographies of people who've done great work, it's remarkable how much luck is involved. They discover what to work on as a result of a chance meeting, or by reading a book they happen to pick up. So you need to make yourself a big target for luck, and the way to do that is to be curious. Try lots of things, meet lots of people, read lots of books, ask lots of questions.  — How To Do Great Work by Paul Graham. (Founders #314)

    (7:00) Bob Noyce had a passion for the scientific grind.

    (10:00) He had a profound and baffling self-confidence.

    (15:00) They called Shockley’s personalty reverse charisma. —  Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age by Joel Shurkin. (Founders #165)

    (25:00) What the beginning of an industry looks like: Anywhere from 50 to 90% of the transistors produced would turn out to be defective.

    (33:00) Young engineers were giving themselves over to a new technology as if it were a religious mission.

    (41:00) Noyce's idea was that every employee should feel that he could go as far and as fast in this industry as his talent would take him. He didn't want any employee to look at the structure of Intel and see a complex set of hurdles.

    (43:00) This wasn't a corporation. It was a congregation.

    (43:00) There were sermons. At Intel everyone, Noyce included, was expected to attend sessions on "the Intel Culture." At these sessions the principles by which the company was run were spelled out and discussed.

    (45:00) If you're ambitious and hardworking, you want to be told how you're doing.

    (45:00) In Noyce's view, most of the young hotshots who were coming to work for Intel had never had the benefit of honest grades in their lives. In the late 1960s and early 1970s college faculties had been under pressure to give all students passing marks so they wouldn't have to go off to Vietnam, and they had caved in, until the entire grading system was meaningless. At Intel they would learn what measuring up meant.

    (49:00) When you are trying to convince an audience to accept a radical innovation, almost by definition the idea is so far from the status quo that many people simply cannot get their minds around it. They quickly discovered that the marketplace wasn’t just confused by the concept of the microprocessor, but was actually frightened by its implications. Many of my engineering friends scoffed at it was a gimmick. Their solution? The market had to be educated. At one point, Intel was conducting more seminars and workshops on how to use the microprocessor than the local junior collage’s total catalog of courses. Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove became part of a traveling educational roadshow. Everyone who could walk and talk became educators. It worked.  —  The Intel Trinity: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World's Most Important Company by Michael Malone. 

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    #355 Rare Bernard Arnault Interview

    #355 Rare Bernard Arnault Interview

    What I learned from reading The House of Arnault by Brad Stone and Angelina Rascouet. 

    ----

    Founders Notes gives you the superpower to learn from history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand. You can search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    Build relationships with other founders, investors, and executives at a Founders Event

    ----

    (3:00) While other politicians were content to get their information from a scattering of newspapers, he devoured whole shelves.  — Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill by Michael Shelden. (Founders #320)

    (7:00) Arnault had understood before anyone else that it was a true industry. — The Taste of Luxury: Bernard Arnault and the Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton Story by Nadege Forestier and Nazanine Ravai. (Founders #296)

    (9:00) Arnault is an iron fist in an iron glove. — The Taste of Luxury: Bernard Arnault and the Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton Story by Nadege Forestier and Nazanine Ravai.

    The public conception of Sam as a good ol’ country boy wearing a soft velvet glove misses the fact that there’s an iron fist within. —  Sam Walton: The Inside Story of America's Richest Man by Vance Trimble.

    (12:00) People often ask me, “When are you going to retire?” And I answer, “Retire from what?” I’ve never worked a day in my life. Everything I’ve done has been because I’ve loved doing it, because it was enthralling. — Am I Being Too Subtle?: Straight Talk From a Business Rebel by Sam Zell. (Founders #269)

    (16:00) “I am not interested in managing a clothing factory. What you need, and I would like to run, is a craftsman’s workshop, in which we would recruit the very best people in the trade, to reestablish in Paris a salon for the greatest luxury and the highest standards of workmanship. It will cost a great deal of money and entail much risk.” — Christian Dior to Marcel Boussac

    (17:00) Arnault believed that luxury brands could be larger than anyone at the time imagined.

    (20:00) Arnault said this 35 years ago: “My ten-year objective is that LVMH's leading position in the world be further strengthened in the luxury goods sector. I believe that there will be fewer and fewer brand names capable of retaining a worldwide presence and that those of our group will be among them as we will provide them with the means for growth.”

    (25:00) There are huge advantages for the early birds. When you're an early bird, there's a model that I call surfing—when a surfer gets up and catches the wave and just stays there, he can go a long, long time. But if he gets off the wave, he becomes mired in shallows. But people get long runs when they're right on the edge of the wave, whether it's Microsoft or Intel or all kinds of people, including National Cash Register. Surfing is a very powerful model.”  —  the NEW Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charlie Munger. (Founders #329)

    (25:00) One thing I learned from having dinner with Charlie was the importance of getting into a great business and STAYING in it. There’s a tendency in human nature to mess up a good thing because of an inability to sit still.

    (25:00) The incredible career of Les Schwab: Les Schwab Pride In Performance: Keep It Going! by Les Schwab. (Founders #330)

    (30:00) Dior in his autobiography: It is widely, and quite erroneously, believed that when the house of Christian Dior was launched, enormous sums were spent on publicity: on the contrary in our first modest budget not a single penny was allotted to it. I trusted to the quality of my dresses to get Christian Dior talked about. Moreover, the relative secrecy in which I chose to work aroused a positive whispering campaign, which was excellent (free) propaganda. Gossip, malicious rumours even, are worth more than the most expensive publicity campaign in the world.

    (31:00) Munger: “There are actually businesses that you will find a few times in a lifetime, where any manager could raise the return enormously just by raising prices-and yet they haven't done it. So they have huge untapped pricing power that they're not using. That is the ultimate no-brainer. Disney found that it could raise those prices a lot and the attendance stayed right up. So a lot of the great record of Eisner and Wells came from just raising prices at Disneyland and Disneyworld and through video cassette sales of classic animated movies. At Berkshire Hathaway, Warren and I raised the prices of See's candy a little faster than others might have. And, of course, we invested in Coca-Cola-which had some untapped pricing power.”

    Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor by Tren Griffin

    (33:00) The benefits Arnault receives from owning commercial real estate: He makes money from his own stores, from leasing space to rivals—and from the appreciation of premium real estate. When LVMH buys a building, it takes the best storefronts for its own brands and often asks rivals to move out when their leases expire.

    (35:00) Arnault is all about details. He has 200,000 employees and he’s paying attention to details about landscaping in the Miami Design District.

    (36:00) If we lose the detail, we lose everything. — Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World by Richard Snow. (Founders #347)

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    #354 Sam Walton: The Inside Story of America's Richest Man

    #354 Sam Walton: The Inside Story of America's Richest Man

    What I learned from reading Sam Walton: The Inside Story of America's Richest Man by Vance Trimble. 

    ----

    Founders Notes gives you the superpower to learn from history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand. You can search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    Build relationships with other founders, investors, and executives at a Founders Event

    ----

    (2:30) Sam Walton built his business on a very simple idea: Buy cheap. Sell low. Every day. With a smile.

    (2:30) People confuse a simple idea with an ordinary person. Sam Walton was no ordinary person.

    (4:30) Traits Sam Walton had his entire life: A sense of duty. Extreme discipline. Unbelievable levels of endurance.

    (5:30) His dad taught him the secret to life was work, work, work.

    (5:30) Sam felt the world was something he could conquer.

    (6:30) The Great Depression was a big leveler of people. Sam chose to rise above it. He was determined to be a success.

    (11:30) You can make a lot of different mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. Or you can be brilliant and still go out of business if you’re too inefficient. — Sam Walton: Made In America by Sam Walton. (Founders #234)

    (15:30) He was crazy about satisfying customers.

    (17:30) The lawyer saw Sam clenching and unclenching his fists, staring at his hands. Sam straightened up. “No,” he said. “I’m not whipped. I found Newport, and I found the store. I can find another good town and another store. Just wait and see!”

    (21:30) Sometimes hardship can enlighten and inspire. This was the case for Sam Walton as he put in hours and hours of driving Ozark mountain roads in the winter of 1950. But that same boredom and frustration triggered ideas that eventually brought him billions of dollars. (This is when he learns to fly small planes. Walmart never happens otherwise)

    (33:30) At the start we were so amateurish and so far behind K Mart just ignored us. They let us stay out here, while we developed and learned our business. They gave us a 10 year period to grow.

    (37:30) And so how dedicated was Sam to keeping costs low? Walmart is called that in part because fewer letters means cheaper signs on the outside of a store.

    (42:30) Sam Walton is tough, loves a good fight, and protects his territory.

    (43:30) His tactics later prompted them to describe Sam as a modern-day combination of Vince Lombardi (insisting on solid execution of the basics) and General George S. Patton. (A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.)

    (43:30) Hardly a day has passed without Sam reminding an employee: "Remember Wal-Mart's Golden Rule: Number one, the customer Is always right; number two, if the customer isn't right, refer to rule number one.”

    (46:30) The early days of Wal-Mart were like the early days of Disneyland: "You asked the question, What was your process like?' I kind of laugh because process is an organized way of doing things. I have to remind you, during the 'Walt Period' of designing Disneyland, we didn't have processes. We just did the work. Processes came later. All of these things had never been done before. Walt had gathered up all these people who had never designed a theme park, a Disneyland.

    So we're in the same boat at one time, and we figure out what to do and how to do it on the fly as we go along with it and not even discuss plans, timing, or anything.

    We just worked and Walt just walked around and had suggestions. — Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World by Richard Snow. (Founders #347)

    (1:04:30) Sam Walton said he took more ideas from Sol Price than any other person. —Sol Price: Retail Revolutionary by Robert Price. (Founders #304)

    (1:07:30) Nothing in the world is cheaper than a good idea without any action behind it.

    (1:07:30)  Sam Walton: Made In America  (Founders #234)

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

     

    #353 How To Be Rich by J. Paul Getty

    #353 How To Be Rich by J. Paul Getty

    What I learned from reading How To Be Rich by J. Paul Getty. 

    ----

    Build relationships with other founders, investors, and executives at a Founders Event

    ----

    "Learning from history is a form of leverage." — Charlie Munger. 

    Founders Notes gives you the superpower to learn from history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand. You can search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    You can also ask SAGE (the Founders Notes AI assistant) any question and SAGE will read all my notes, highlights, and every transcript from every episode for you.

     A few questions I've asked SAGE recently: 

    What are the most important leadership lessons from history's greatest entrepreneurs?

    Can you give me a summary of Warren Buffett's best ideas? (Substitute any founder covered on the podcast and you'll get a comprehensive and easy to read summary of their ideas) 

    How did Edwin Land find new employees to hire? Any unusual sources to find talent?

    What are some strategies that Cornelius Vanderbilt used against his competitors?

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    (2:00) My father was a self-made man who had known extreme poverty in his youth and had a practically limitless capacity for hard work.

    (6:00) I acted as my own geologist, legal advisor, drilling superintendent, explosives expert, roughneck and roustabout.

    (8:00) Michael Jordan: The Life by Roland Lazenby. (Founders #212) 

    (12:00) Control as much of your business as possible. You don’t want to have to worry about what is going on in the other guy’s shop.

    (20:00) Optimism is a moral duty. Pessimism aborts opportunity.

    (21:00) I studied the lives of great men and women. And I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.

    (22:00) 98 percent of our attention was devoted to the task at hand. We are believers in Carlyle's Prescription, that the job a man is to do is the job at hand and not see what lies dimly in the distance. — Charlie Munger

    (27:00) Entrepreneurs want to create their own security.

    (34:00) Example is the best means to instruct or inspire others.

    (37:00) Long orders, which require much time to prepare, to read and to understand are the enemies of speed. Napoleon could issue orders of few sentences which clearly expressed his intentions and required little time to issue and to understand.

    (38:00) A Few Lessons for Investors and Managers From Warren Buffett by Warren Buffett and Peter Bevelin. (Founders #202) 

    (41:00) Two principles he repeats:

    Be where the work is happening.

    Get rid of bureaucracy.

    (43:00) Years ago, businessmen automatically kept administrative overhead to an absolute minimum. The present day trend is in exactly the opposite direction. The modern business mania is to build greater and ever greater paper shuffling empires.

    (44:00) Les Schwab Pride In Performance: Keep It Going!by Les Schwab (Founders #330) 

    (46:00) The primary function of management is to obtain results through people.

    (50:00) the truly great leader views reverses, calmly and coolly. He is fully aware that they are bound to occur occasionally and he refuses to be unnerved by them.

    (51:00) There is always something wrong everywhere.

    (51:00) Don't interrupt the compounding. It’s all about the long term. You should keep a fortress of cash, reinvest in your business, and use debt sparingly. Doing so will help you survive to reap the long-term benefits of your business.

    (54:00) You’ll go much farther if you stop trying to look and act and think like everyone else.

    (55:00) The line that divides majority opinion from mass hysteria is often so fine as to be virtually invisible.

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    #352 J. Paul Getty: The Richest Private Citizen in America

    #352 J. Paul Getty: The Richest Private Citizen in America

    What I learned from reading As I See it: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty by J. Paul Getty. 

    ----

    Build relationships with other founders, investors, and executives at a Founders Event

    ----

    "Learning from history is a form of leverage." — Charlie Munger. 

    Founders Notes gives you the superpower to learn from history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand. You can search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    You can also ask SAGE (the Founders Notes AI assistant) any question and SAGE will read all my notes, highlights, and every transcript from every episode for you.

     A few questions I've asked SAGE recently: 

    What are the most important leadership lessons from history's greatest entrepreneurs?

    Can you give me a summary of Warren Buffett's best ideas? (Substitute any founder covered on the podcast and you'll get a comprehensive and easy to read summary of their ideas) 

    How did Edwin Land find new employees to hire? Any unusual sources to find talent?

    What are some strategies that Cornelius Vanderbilt used against his competitors?

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    (2:00) Vice President Nelson Rockefeller did me the honor of saying that my entrepreneurial success in the oil business put me on a par with his grandfather, John D. Rockefeller Sr. My comment was that comparing me to John D. Sr. was like comparing a sparrow to an eagle. My words were not inspired by modesty, but by facts.

    (8:00) On his dad sending him to military school: The strict, regimented environment was good for me.

    (20:00) Entrepreneurs are people whose mind and energies are constantly being used at peak capacity.

    (28:00) Advice for fellow entrepreneurs: Don’t be like William Randolph Hearst. Reinvest in your business. Keep a fortress of cash. Use debt sparingly.

    (30:00) The great entrepreneurs I know have these traits:

    -Devoted their minds and energy to building productive enterprises (over the long term)

    -They concentrated on expanding

    -They concentrated on making their companies more efficient 

    -They reinvest heavily in to their business (which can help efficiency and expansion )

    -Always personally involved in their business

    -They know their business down to the ground

    -They have an innate capacity to think on a large scale

    (34:00) Five wives can't all be wrong. As one of them told me after our divorce: "You're a great friend, Paul—but as a husband, you're impossible.”

    (36:00) My business interests created problems [in my marriages]. I was drilling several wells and it was by no means uncommon for me to stay on the sites overnight or even for two days or more.

    (38:00) A hatred of failure has always been part of my nature and one of the more pronounced motivating forces in my life.  Once I have committed myself to any undertaking, a powerful inner drive cuts in and I become intent on seeing it through to a satisfactory conclusion.

    (38:00) My own nature is such that I am able to concentrate on whatever is before me and am not easily distracted from it.

    (42:00) There are times when certain cards sit unclaimed in the common pile, when certain properties become available that will never be available again. A good businessman feels these moments like a fall in the barometric pressure. A great businessman is dumb enough to act on them even when he cannot afford to. — The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen. (Founders #255)

    (47:00) [On transforming his company for the Saudi Arabia deal] The list of things to be done was awesome, but those things were done.

    (53:00) Churchill to his son: Your idle and lazy life is very offensive to me. You appear to be leading a perfectly useless existence.

    (54:00) My father's influence and example where the principle forces that formed my nature and character.

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    #351 The Founder of Rolex: Hans Wilsdorf

    #351 The Founder of Rolex: Hans Wilsdorf

    What I learned from reading about Hans Wilsdorf and the founding of Rolex.

    ----

    Build relationships at the Founders Conference on July 29th-July 31st in Scotts Valley, California

    ----

    "Learning from history is a form of leverage." — Charlie Munger. Founders Notes gives you the superpower to learn from history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand.

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    You can search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    You can also ask SAGE any question and SAGE will read all my notes, highlights, and every transcript from every episode for you.

     A few questions I've asked SAGE recently: 

    What are the most important leadership lessons from history's greatest entrepreneurs?

    Can you give me a summary of Warren Buffett's best ideas? (Substitute any founder covered on the podcast and you'll get a comprehensive and easy to read summary of their ideas) 

    How did Edwin Land find new employees to hire? Any unusual sources to find talent?

    What are some strategies that Cornelius Vanderbilt used against his competitors?

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    (0:01) At the age of twelve I was an orphan.

    (1:00) My uncles made me become self-reliant very early in life. Looking back, I believe that it is to this, that much of my success is due.

    (9:00) The idea of wearing a watch on one's wrist was thought to be contrary to the conception of masculinity.

    (10:00) Prior to World War 1 wristwatches for men did not exist.

    (11:00) Business is problems. The best companies are just effective problem solving machines.

    (12:00) My personal opinion is that pocket watches will almost completely disappear and that wrist watches will replace them definitively! I am not mistaken in this opinion and you will see that I am right." —Hans Wilsdorf, 1914

    (14:00) The highest order bit is belief: I had very early realized the manifold possibilities of the wristlet watch and, feeling sure that they would materialize in time, I resolutely went on my way. Rolex was thus able to get several years ahead of other watch manufacturers who persisted in clinging to the pocket watch as their chief product.

    (16:00) Clearly, the companies for whom the economics of twenty-four-hour news would have made the most sense were the Big Three broadcasters. They already had most of what was needed— studios, bureaus, reporters, anchors almost everything but a belief in cable.   —  Ted Turner's Autobiography (Founders #327)

    (20:00) Business Breakdowns #65 Rolex: Timeless Excellence

    (27:00)   Rolex was effectively the first watch brand to have real marketing dollars put behind a watch. Rolex did this in a concentrated way and they've continued to do it in a way that is simply just unmatched by others in their industry.

    (28:00) It's tempting during recession to cut back on consumer advertising. At the start of each of the last three recessions, the growth of spending on such advertising had slowed by an average of 27 percent. But consumer studies of those recessions had showed that companies that didn't cut their ads had, in the recovery, captured the most market share. So we didn't cut our ad budget. In fact, we raised it to gain brand recognition, which continued advertising sustains. — Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy by Isadore Sharp. (Founders #184)

    (32:00) Social proof is a form of leverage. — Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charlie Munger. (Founders #329)

    (34:00) What really matters is Hans understood the opportunity better than anybody else, and invested heavily in developing the technology to bring his ideas to fruition.

    (35:00) On keeping the main thing the main thing for decades: In developing and extending my business, I have always had certain aims in mind, a course from which I never deviated.

    (41:00) Rolex wanted to only be associated with the best. They ran an ad with the headline: Men who guide the destinies of the world, where Rolex watches.

    (43:00) Opportunity creates more opportunites. The Oyster unlocked the opportunity for the Perpetual.

    (44:00) The easier you make something for the customer, the larger the market gets: “My vision was to create the first fully packaged computer. We were no longer aiming for the handful of hobbyists who liked to assemble their own computers, who knew how to buy transformers and keyboards. For every one of them there were a thousand people who would want the machine to be ready to run.” — Steve Jobs

    (48:00) More sources:

    Rolex Jubilee: Vade Mecum by Hans Wilsdorf

    Rolex Magazine: The Hans Wilsdorf Years

    Hodinkee: Inside the Manufacture. Going Where Few Have Gone Before -- Inside All Four Rolex Manufacturing Facilities 

    Vintage Watchstraps Blog: Hans Wilsdorf and Rolex

    Business Breakdowns #65 Rolex: Timeless Excellence

    Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands by Jean Noel Kapferer and Vincent Bastien 

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    #350 How To Sell Like Steve Jobs

    #350 How To Sell Like Steve Jobs

    What I learned from reading The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo 

    ----

    Come build relationships at the Founders Conference on July 29th-July 31st in Scotts Valley, California

    ----

    Learning from history is a form of leverage. —Charlie Munger. Founders Notes gives you the super power to learn from history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand.

    Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders

    You can search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    You can also ask SAGE any question and SAGE will read all my notes, highlights, and every transcript from every episode for you.

     A few questions I've asked SAGE recently: 

    What are the most important leadership lessons from history's greatest entrepreneurs?

    Can you give me a summary of Warren Buffett's best ideas? (Substitute any founder covered on the podcast and you'll get a comprehensive and easy to read summary of their ideas) 

    How did Edwin Land find new employees to hire? Any unusual sources to find talent?

    What are some strategies that Cornelius Vanderbilt used against his competitors?

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    If you want me to speak at your company go here

    ----

    (1:00) You've got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology—not the other way around.  —Steve Jobs in 1997

    (6:00) Why should I care = What does this do for me?

    (6:00) The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals by Frank Partnoy.  (Founders #348)

    (7:00) Easy to understand, easy to spread.

    (8:00) An American Saga: Juan Trippe and His Pan Am Empire by Robert Daley 

    (8:00) The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen. (Founders #255)

    (9:00)  love how crystal clear this value proposition is. Instead of 3 days driving on dangerous road, it’s 1.5 hours by air. That’s a 48x improvement in time savings. This allows the company to work so much faster. The best B2B companies save businesses time.

    (10:00) Great Advertising Founders Episodes:

    Albert Lasker (Founders #206)

    Claude Hopkins (Founders #170 and #207)

    David Ogilvy (Founders #82, 89, 169, 189, 306, 343) 

    (12:00) Advertising which promises no benefit to the consumer does not sell, yet the majority of campaigns contain no promise whatever. (That is the most important sentence in this book. Read it again.) — Ogilvy on Advertising 

    (13:00) Repeat, repeat, repeat. Human nature has a flaw. We forget that we forget.

    (19:00) Start with the problem. Do not start talking about your product before you describe the problem your product solves.

    (23:00) The Invisible Billionaire: Daniel Ludwig by Jerry Shields. (Founders #292)

    (27:00) Being so well known has advantages of scale—what you might call an informational advantage.

    Psychologists use the term social proof. We are all influenced-subconsciously and, to some extent, consciously-by what we see others do and approve.

    Therefore, if everybody's buying something, we think it's better.

    We don't like to be the one guy who's out of step.

    The social proof phenomenon, which comes right out of psychology, gives huge advantages to scale.

    —  the NEW Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charlie Munger (Founders #329)

    (29:00) Marketing is theatre.

    (32:00) Belief is irresistible. — Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight.  (Founders #186)

    (35:00) I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders. I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. And, humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing, about a third of the way down the list. It was not too proud a showing for the crown of creation. So, that didn’t look so good. But, then somebody at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And, a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts.

    And that’s what a computer is to me. What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.

    ----

    If you want me to speak at your company go here

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    #349 How Steve Jobs Kept Things Simple

    #349 How Steve Jobs Kept Things Simple

    What I learned from reading Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success by Ken Segall. 

    ----

    Come build relationships at the Founders Conference on July 29th-July 31st in Scotts Valley, California 

    ----

    Learning from history is a form of leverage. —Charlie Munger. Founders Notes gives you the super power to learn from history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand.

    Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders

    You can search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    You can also ask SAGE any question and SAGE will read all my notes, highlights, and every transcript from every episode for you.

     A few questions I've asked SAGE recently: 

    What are the most important leadership lessons from history's greatest entrepreneurs?

    Can you give me a summary of Warren Buffett's best ideas? (Substitute any founder covered on the podcast and you'll get a comprehensive and easy to read summary of their ideas) 

    How did Edwin Land find new employees to hire? Any unusual sources to find talent?

    What are some strategies that Cornelius Vanderbilt used against his competitors?

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    (1:30) Steve wanted Apple to make a product that was simply amazing and amazingly simple.

    (3:00) If you don’t zero in on your bureaucracy every so often, you will naturally build in layers. You never set out to add bureaucracy. You just get it. Period. Without even knowing it. So you always have to be looking to eliminate it.  — Sam Walton: Made In America by Sam Walton. (Founders #234)

    (5:00) Steve was always easy to understand. He would either approve a demo, or he would request to see something different next time. Whenever Steve reviewed a demo, he would say, often with highly detailed specificity, what he wanted to happen next.  — Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs by Ken Kocienda. (Founders #281)

    (7:00) Watch this video. Andy Miller tells GREAT Steve Jobs stories

    (10:00) Many are familiar with the re-emergence of Apple. They may not be as familiar with the fact that it has few, if any parallels.
    When did a founder ever return to the company from which he had been rudely rejected to engineer a turnaround as complete and spectacular as Apple's? While turnarounds are difficult in any circumstances they are doubly difficult in a technology company. It is not too much of a stretch to say that Steve founded Apple not once but twice. And the second time he was alone. 

    —  Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs and the Creation of Appleby Michael Moritz.

    (15:00) If the ultimate decision maker is involved every step of the way the quality of the work increases.

    (20:00) "You asked the question, What was your process like?' I kind of laugh because process is an organized way of doing things. I have to remind you, during the 'Walt Period' of designing Disneyland, we didn't have processes. We just did the work. Processes came later. All of these things had never been done before. Walt had gathered up all these people who had never designed a theme park, a Disneyland. So we're in the same boat at one time, and we figure out what to do and how to do it on the fly as we go along with it and not even discuss plans, timing, or anything. We just worked and Walt just walked around and had suggestions." — Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World by Richard Snow. (Founders #347)

    (23:00) The further you get away from 1 the more complexity you invite in.

    (25:00) Your goal: A single idea expressed clearly.

    (26:00) Jony Ive: Steve was the most focused person I’ve met in my life

    (28:00) Editing your thinking is an act of service.

    ----

    Learning from history is a form of leverage. —Charlie Munger. Founders Notes gives you the super power to learn from history's greatest entrepreneurs on demand.

    Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders

    You can search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    You can also ask SAGE any question and SAGE will read all my notes, highlights, and every transcript from every episode for you.

     A few questions I've asked SAGE recently: 

    What are the most important leadership lessons from history's greatest entrepreneurs?

    Can you give me a summary of Warren Buffett's best ideas? (Substitute any founder covered on the podcast and you'll get a comprehensive and easy to read summary of their ideas) 

    How did Edwin Land find new employees to hire? Any unusual sources to find talent?

    What are some strategies that Cornelius Vanderbilt used against his competitors?

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    Michael Jordan In His Own Words

    Michael Jordan In His Own Words

    What I learned from reading Driven From Within by Michael Jordan and Mark Vancil. 

    ----

    Relationships run the world: Build relationships at Founders events

    ----

    Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders

    You can read, reread, and search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    You can also ask SAGE any question and SAGE will read all my notes, highlights, and every transcript from every episode for you.

     A few questions I've asked SAGE recently: 

    What are the most important leadership lessons from history's greatest entrepreneurs?

    Can you give me a summary of Warren Buffett's best ideas? (Substitute any founder covered on the podcast and you'll get a comprehensive and easy to read summary of their ideas) 

    How did Edwin Land find new employees to hire? Any unusual sources to find talent?

    What are some strategies that Cornelius Vanderbilt used against his competitors?

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    Episode Outline: 

    Players who practice hard when no one is paying attention play well when everyone is watching.

    It's hard, but it's fair. I live by those words. 

    To this day, I don't enjoy working. I enjoy playing, and figuring out how to connect playing with business. To me, that's my niche. People talk about my work ethic as a player, but they don't understand. What appeared to be hard work to others was simply playing for me.

    You have to be uncompromised in your level of commitment to whatever you are doing, or it can disappear as fast as it appeared. 

    Look around, just about any person or entity achieving at a high level has the same focus. The morning after Tiger Woods rallied to beat Phil Mickelson at the Ford Championship in 2005, he was in the gym by 6:30 to work out. No lights. No cameras. No glitz or glamour. Uncompromised. 

    I knew going against the grain was just part of the process.

    The mind will play tricks on you. The mind was telling you that you couldn't go any further. The mind was telling you how much it hurt. The mind was telling you these things to keep you from reaching your goal. But you have to see past that, turn it all off if you are going to get where you want to be.

    I would wake up in the morning thinking: How am I going to attack today?

    I’m not so dominant that I can’t listen to creative ideas coming from other people. Successful people listen. Those who don’t listen, don’t survive long.

    In all honesty, I don't know what's ahead. If you ask me what I'm going to do in five years, I can't tell you. This moment? Now that's a different story. I know what I'm doing moment to moment, but I have no idea what's ahead. I'm so connected to this moment that I don't make assumptions about what might come next, because I don't want to lose touch with the present. Once you make assumptions about something that might happen, or might not happen, you start limiting the potential outcomes. 

    ----

    Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders

    You can read, reread, and search all my notes and highlights from every book I've ever read for the podcast. 

    You can also ask SAGE any question and SAGE will read all my notes, highlights, and every transcript from every episode for you.

     A few questions I've asked SAGE recently: 

    What are the most important leadership lessons from history's greatest entrepreneurs?

    Can you give me a summary of Warren Buffett's best ideas? (Substitute any founder covered on the podcast and you'll get a comprehensive and easy to read summary of their ideas) 

    How did Edwin Land find new employees to hire? Any unusual sources to find talent?

    What are some strategies that Cornelius Vanderbilt used against his competitors?

    Get access to Founders Notes here

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    Founders
    en-usMay 12, 2024

    Related Episodes

    #99 Carroll Shelby (My name is Carroll Shelby and performance is my business)

    #99 Carroll Shelby (My name is Carroll Shelby and performance is my business)

    What I learned from reading Carroll Shelby: The Authorized Biography by Rinsey Mills. 

    ----

    Come see a live show with me and Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like The Best on October 19th in New York City. 

    Get your tickets here

    ----

    Subscribe to listen to Founders Premium — Subscribers can listen to Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes and every bonus episode. 

    ---

    [3:27] I love everything about this person. I like the way he thought. I like the way he lived his life.

    [3:38] It is almost unbelievable all the different events that could happen in one human lifetime.

    [3:52] He lived to 89 years old and he used every single year that he was alive.

    [5:22] He could talk his way out of anything.

    [6:40] He knew what he wanted. He didn't want anybody else telling him what to do.

    [7:41] He had a love for anything that would go fast.

    [10:48] He didn’t know what to do with his life.

    [15:54] Follow your natural drift. —Charlie Munger

    [17:00] I can't work for anybody.

    [18:42]  He has fun his entire life. As soon as they stop being fun he runs away.

    [22:20] A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market by Ed Thorp. (Founders #93 and #222) 

    [24:17]  Money only solves money problems.

    [26:32] Scratching around doing insignificant races with inferior machinery wasn't an option in which he could see any future.

    [27:26] Whatever setbacks he encountered he was invariably able to bounce back through a combination of self-belief and an aptitude for making other people believe in him.

    [27:45] Enthusiasm and passion are universal attractive traits.

    [28:05] Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans by A.J. Baime. (Founders #97) and Enzo Ferrari: Power, Politics, and the Making of an Automobile Empire by Luca Dal Monte. (Founders #98) 

    [30:29] The Purple Cow by Seth Godin

    [32:22] Distant Force: A Memoir of the Teledyne Corporation and the Man Who Created It by Dr. George Roberts. (Founders #110)

    [32:38] Having extreme focus in the information age is a superpower.

    [36:13] Racing was a means to an end. He wanted to build his own car. That was his main goal.

    [42:34] He still didn't know quite how he was going to do it but if he was finally going to produce his own sports car.

    [53:48] All big things start small.

    [58:31] 12 months after Shelby was deeply depressed his life is completely different and the Shelby Cobra starts to take shape.

    [1:00:06] A summary of the early days of Shelby Automotive: Everything had to be done tomorrow and by the cheapest method possible.

    [1:01:12] It wasn't uncommon for them to work until two or three in the morning and be back down there at 7:30 the next morning.

    [1:02:22] There's just something special about a group of highly talented, smart people working together for a common goal.

    [1:03:48] Shelby hates company politics. That is why he wanted to run a smaller company.

    [1:17:30] My name is Carroll Shelby and performance is my business. 

    “I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested, so my poor wallet suffers. ”

    — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    #98 Enzo Ferrari (the making of an automobile empire)

    #98 Enzo Ferrari (the making of an automobile empire)

    What I learned from reading Enzo Ferrari: Power, Politics, and the Making of an Automobile Empire by Luca Dal Monte.

    ----

    Come see a live show with me and Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like The Best on October 19th in New York City. 

    Get your tickets here

    ----

    Subscribe to listen to Founders Premium — Subscribers can listen to Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes and every bonus episode. 

    ---

    [0:01] Ferrari was animated by an extraordinary passion that led him to build a product with no equal

    [3:52] Lee Iacocca on why Enzo Ferrari will go as the greatest car manufacturer in history: "Ferrari spent every dollar chasing perfection." 

    [8:50] Business lessons from his father  

    [11:47] Enzo Ferrari was not interested in school. He wanted to start working immediately. 

    [16:36] The deaths of his father and brother 

    [18:20] No job. No money. No connections. A young man desperate to succeed in life. 

    [23:06] He learned something that he would never forget for the rest of his life: Not even the best driver had any chance of victory if he was not at the wheel of the best car

    [24:20] Starting his first business which ends in bankruptcy.

    [28:31] Enzo learned from those who already accomplished what he was trying to do. 

    [31:10] He does the best possible job at whatever task he is given. Even if he doesn't want to do it. Enzo focuses on being useful. 

    [33:35] A young Enzo Ferrari is plagued with doubts and close to a nervous breakdown. 

    [38:28] The large leave gaps for the small: The start of Scuderia Ferrari. 

    [49:38] Enzo Ferrari at 33 years old. 

    [51:30] For Enzo Ferrari it was always day 1.

    [52:33] Alfa Romeo pulls the plug/the end of Scuderia Ferrari, the birth of Ferrari.

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested so my poor wallet suffers. ” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    #249 Steve Jobs In His Own Words

    #249 Steve Jobs In His Own Words

    What I learned from reading I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words by George Beahm.

    ----

    Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders at Founders Notes.com

    ----

    [1:05]

    On Steve Jobs

    #5 Steve Jobs: The Biography
    #19 Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
    #76 Return To The Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs and The Creation of Apple
    #77 Steve Jobs & The NeXT Big Thing
    #204 Inside Steve Jobs' Brain
    #214 Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography
    #235 To Pixar And Beyond: My Unlikely Journey with Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History

    Bonus Episodes on Steve Jobs

    Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success (Between #112 and #113)
    Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs (Between #110 and #111)

    On Jony Ive and Steve Jobs

    #178 Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products

    On Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs

    #34 Creativity Inc: Overcoming The Unseen Forces That Stand In The Way of True Inspiration

    On Steve Jobs and several other technology company founders

    #157 The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

    #208 In the Company of Giants: Candid Conversations With the Visionaries of the Digital World

    [3:13] We're not going to be the first to this party, but we're going to be the best.

    [4:54] Company Focus: We do no market research. We don't hire consultants. We just want to make great products.

    [5:06] The roots of Apple were to build computers for people, not for corporations. The world doesn't need another Dell or Compaq.

    [5:52] Nearly all the founders I’ve read about have a handful of ideas/principles that are important to them and they just repeat and pound away at them forever.

    [7:00] You can oftentimes arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don't put in the time or energy to get there.

    [8:09] I think of Founders as a tool for working professionals. And what that tool does is it gets ideas from the history of entrepreneurship into your brain so then you can use them in your work. It just so happens that a podcast is a great way to achieve that goal.

    [8:48] Tim Ferriss Podcast #596 with Ed Thorp

    [8:50] A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market by Ed Thorp. (Founders 222)

    [10:43] In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating. It's the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.

    [12:05] The Essential Difference: The Lisa people wanted to do something great. And the Mac people want to do something insanely great. The difference shows.

    [14:21] Sure, what we do has to make commercial sense, but it's never the starting point. We start with the product and the user experience.

    [15:57] Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli. (Founders #19)

    [16:41] We had a passion to do this one simple thing.

    [16:51] And that's really important because he's saying I wasn't trying to build the biggest company. I wasn't trying to build a trillion dollar company. It wasn't doing any of that. Those things happen later as a by-product of what I was actually focused on, which is just building the best computer that I wanted to use.

    [17:14] In the Company of Giants: Candid Conversations With the Visionaries of the Digital World by Rama Dev Jager and Rafael Ortiz.  (Founders #208 )

    [17:41] It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you're doing. Picasso had a saying: good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.

    [20:29] Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets.

    [21:06]  A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman (Founders #95) “A very small percentage of the population produces the greatest proportion of the important ideas. There are some people if you shoot one idea into the brain, you will get half an idea out. There are other people who are beyond this point at which they produce two ideas for each idea sent in.”

    [22:29] Edwin land episodes:

    Insisting On The Impossible: The Life of Edwin Land and Instant: The Story of Polaroid (Founders #40)

    The Instant Image: Edwin Land and The Polaroid Experience by Mark Olshaker. (Founders #132)

    Land’s Polaroid: A Company and The Man Who Invented It by Peter C. Wensberg. (Founders #133)

    A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War by Ronald K. Fierstein. (Founders #134)

    [25:01] Macintosh was basically this relatively small company in Cupertino, California, taking on the goliath, IBM, and saying "Wait a minute, your way is wrong. This is not the way we want computers to go. This is not the legacy we want to leave. This is not what we want our kids to be learning. This is wrong and we are going to show you the right way to do it and here it is and it is so much better.

    [27:47] Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Productsby Leander Kahney. (
    (Founders #178)

    [29:00] Enzo Ferrari: Power, Politics, and the Making of an Automobile Empire by Luca Dal Monte (Founders #98)

    [34:39] On meeting his wife, Laurene: I was in the parking lot, with the key in the car, and I thought to myself: If this is my last night on earth, would I rather spend it at a business meeting or with this woman? I ran across the parking lot, asked her if she'd have dinner with me. She said yes, we walked into town, and we've been together ever since.

    [37:26] It's not about pop culture, and it's not about fooling people, and it's not about convincing people that they want something they don't. We figure out what we want. And I think we're pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That's what we get paid to do.

    [41:29] Constellation Software Inc. President's Letters by Mark Leonard. (Founders #246)

    [42:30] Made in Japan: Akio Morita and Sony by Akio Morita. (Founders #102)

    [44:36] Victory in our industry is spelled survival.

    [45:21] Once you get into the problem you see that it's complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions. That's where most people stop, and the solutions tend to work for a while. But the really great person will keep going, find the underlying problem, and come up with an elegant solution that works on every level.

    [48:15] Churchill by Paul Johnson (Founders #225)

    [48:25] I would trade all my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.

    ----

    Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders at Founders Notes.com

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested, so my poor wallet suffers. ”— Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast

    #132 Edwin Land (Steve Jobs's Hero)

    #132 Edwin Land (Steve Jobs's Hero)

    What I learned from reading The Instant Image: Edwin Land and the Polaroid Experience by Mark Olshaker. 

    ----

    Come see a live show with me and Patrick O'Shaughnessy from Invest Like The Best on October 19th in New York City. 

    Get your tickets here

    ----

    Subscribe to listen to Founders Premium — Subscribers can listen to Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes and every bonus episode. 

    ---

    [1:42] The word “problem” had completely departed from Edwin land's vocabulary to be replaced by the word “opportunity”. 

    [2:01] What was it about this man and his company that allowed such confidence and seeming lack of concern with the traditional top priorities of American business? 

    [2:38] There is something unique about Polaroid having to do both with the human dimension of the company, and with a unity of vision of its founder and guiding genius.  

    [3:36] Perhaps the single most important aspect of Land's character is his ability to regard things around him in a new and totally different way.  

    [4:14] Right from the beginning of his career Land had paid scant attention to what experts had to say, trusting his own instincts instead.  

    [4:49] Land has always believed that for any item sufficiently ingenious and intriguing, a new market could be created. Conventional wisdom has little capacity with which to evaluate a market that did not exist prior to the product that defines it. 

    [5:21] He feels that creativity is an individual thing. Not generally applicable to group generation. 

    [5:52] Land is a man deeply caught up in the creative potential of the individual. 

    [6:33] An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man. 

    [7:43] Apple founder Steve Jobs once hailed Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid and the father of instant photography, as "a national treasure" and once confessed to a reporter that meeting Land was "like visiting a shrine." By his own admission, Jobs modeled much of his own career after Land’s. Both Jobs and Land stand out today as unique and towering figures in the history of technology. Neither had a college degree, but both built highly successful and innovative organizations. Jobs and Land were both perfectionists with an almost fanatic attentiveness to detail, in addition to being consummate showmen and instinctive marketers. In many ways, Edwin Land was the original Steve Jobs.  

    [8:36] There's a rule that they don't teach you at the Harvard business school. It is, if anything is worth doing it's worth doing to excess

    [11:22] Steve Jobs: I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics. Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences. And I decided that's what I wanted to do.  

    [12:51] In a world full of cooks, Edwin Land was a chef. [Link to The Cook and The Chef: Elon Musk’s Secret Sauce]  

    [19:34] Land was asked what he wanted to be when he was younger: I had two goals. To be the world's greatest scientist and to be the world's greatest novelist. 

    [21:28] Everyone acknowledged that the future of Polaroid corporation would be determined by what went on in the brain of Edwin Land. 

    [22:01] My motto is very personal and may not fit anyone else or any other company. It is: Don't do anything that someone else can do.  

    [22:54] Fortunately our company has been one which has been dedicated throughout its life to making only things which others can not make.  

    [25:06] Land had far more faith in his own potential, and that of the company he inspired, than did any of the experts looking in from the outside.  

    [27:30] Polaroid failed to build a successful company by selling to other businesses: Each [product] would have involved millions of dollars in revenue for the company, but each invention involved a certain degree of transformation of an existing industry controlled by an existing power structure. From this Land realizes he needs to control the relationship with the customer. He realizes he needs to sell directly to the end user

    [36:16] Edwin Land is inspired by, and learned from, people that came before him. One example of this is Alexander Graham Bell. Edwin Land is not worried about the marketing [of a new product] because Bell went through the same thing: Land apparently lost little sleep over the initial situation, calling to mind that the same sort of reaction had greeted the public introduction of Bell's telephone, 70 years earlier. The telephone had been a dominant symbol in Land's thinking. He began making numerous connections between his camera and the telephone.  

    [40:16] Over the years, I have learned that every significant invention has several characteristics. By definition it must be startling, unexpected, and must come into a world that is not prepared for it. If the world were prepared for it, it would not be much of an invention.  

    [40:46] It is the public's role to resist [a new invention, a new product/service]. 

    [41:29] It took us a lifetime to understand that if we're to make a new commodity —a commodity of beauty —then we must be prepared for the extensive teaching program needed to prepare society for the magnitude of our invention

    [45:12] Only the individual— and not the large group— can see a part of the world in a totally new and different way.  

    [48:08] Land's view is that a company should be scientifically daring and financially conservative. 

    [50:30] To understand more about every aspect of light, Edwin Land read every single book on light that was available in the New York City Public Library. That reminded me of one of my favorite lectures ever: Running Down A Dream: How to Succeed and Thrive in a Career You Love

    [51:59] Land on the problem with formal education: Young people for the most part —unless they are geniuses— after a very short time in college, give up any hope of being individually great. 

    [54:16] Among all the components and Land's intellectual arsenal, the chief one seems to be simple concentration.  

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested, so my poor wallet suffers.”— Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book. It's good for you. It's good for Founders. A list of all the books featured on Founders Podcast.

    #244 Harry Snyder (In-N-Out Burger)

    #244 Harry Snyder (In-N-Out Burger)

    What I learned from reading In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules by Stacy Perman.

    ----

    Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders at Founders Notes.com

    ----

    [2:03] This is an absorbing case study on how a family business came to be at the center of its own cheerful cult.

    [2:42] Aliens, Jedi, & Cults: A Mental Model for Potential

    [5:05] Stripe gave me a mental model for potential. An alien founder assembles a group of Jedi to start a cult and go on a mission together.

    [5:28] The developers raving about Stripe formed the cult.

    [6:37] If you are searching for a project with potential, watch out for the alien founder, Jedi team, and cult following of people on a messianic mission.

    [7:58] A few years ago I started notice that people were getting Tesla tattoos. It is very hard to ever short something where people are tattooing the brand on their body.   — Josh Wolfe

    [8:38] Becoming Trader Joe: How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys  (Founders #188) Word of mouth is the most effective advertising of all. I have been known to say that there's no better business to run than a cult. Trader Joe's became a cult of the overeducated and underpaid, partly because we deliberately tried to make it a cult once we got a handle on what we were actually doing, and partly because we kept the implicit promises with our clientele.

    [9:12] List of David Ogilvy podcasts:

    Ogilvy on Advertising (Founders #82)

    Confessions of an Advertising Man (Founders #89)

    The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising(Founders #169)

    The Unpublished David Ogilvy (Founders #189)

    [9:17] Word of mouth is the most effective advertising of all. In and Out has that, Tesla has that, Stripe has that, Bitcoin has that, Trader Joe's has that, Apple has that.

    [10:35] Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue and Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future (Founders #31) The best startups might be considered slightly less extreme kinds of cults. The biggest difference is that cults tend to be fanatically wrong about something important. People at a successful startup are fanatically right about something those outside it have missed.

    [11:33] In and Out was fanatically right about something that companies like McDonald’s, Wendy's and others, missed.

    [11:43] The most important sentence in the book: "Keep it real simple. Do one thing and do it the best you can.”

    [12:55] The family owned, fiercely independent chain has remained virtually unchanged since its inception in 1948.

    [14:53] It is known as the anti-chain with the cult-like mystique. The anti-chain is a perfect way to describe In and Out’s approach to building their business.

    [19:48] Harry's drive and tenacity were propelled by the uncertainty of watching his parents labor to provide for his family. Harry grew into a disciplined fellow with a strong sense of responsibility.

    [27:50] The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (Founders #179)

    [28:15] Sol Price: Retail Revolutionary & Social Innovator (Founders #107)

    [28:55] I have always said that competition just makes you stronger. You shouldn't be afraid of the competition. They make you stay on top of your game. They keep you on your toes.

    [29:23] You don't ever cut corners when it comes to the quality of your product.

    [30:23] There is no cult-like following for shitty products.

    [33:21] This dude is obsessed with simplicity.

    [33:44] Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success Never underestimate the degree to which people crave clarity and respond positively to it.

    [36:26]  If he was alive today and you could ask him for advice I think he would just say do it yourself.

    [37:18] This is an important distinction —and I think also how you get to a cult-like following—he's not interesting in being the biggest, he's interested in being the best.

    [38:34] If you’re efficient, you’re doing it the wrong way. The right way is the hard way. The show was successful because I micromanaged it—every word, every line, every take, every edit, every casting. That’s my way of life.

    [39:47] He refused to sacrifice quality for the sake of profits.

    [40:05] From the start, In-N-Out ran a customer-driven shop.

    [41:00] Authentic: A Memoir by the Founder of Vans (Founders #216)

    [44:07] He believed in paying for quality and that included wages.

    [44:31] Why would you skimp on the level of quality people you work with? That's insane to me — it just makes no sense at all.

    [44:48] Les Schwab Pride In Performance: Keep It Going!

    [45:42]  Embrace hard work, ignore fads, identify what's important to you, and repeat it for decades.

    [46:39] The Sugar King of Havana: The Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba's Last Tycoon(Founders #237)

    [50:00] Catering to the car-reliant customer, Harry focused on putting his drive-throughs right next to off-ramps of the fast-expanding freeway system. The growing Southern California freeway network became a significant factor in In-N-Out's own rising popularity.

    [50:45] He's got a handful of really simple principles he refuses to deviate from. He focuses on quality and does that for decade after decade, He's giving us somewhat of a blueprint to build a cult-like following. People respond to this because you've put their interest ahead of your own.

    [51:56] Nuts!: Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success(Founders #56)

    [56:50] You don't build a cult following by trying to wring more money out of cheaper products.

    [58:19] I'm focused on the customer. I'm focused on quality. My competitors are focused on a spreadsheet.

    [59:56] Limit the number of details to perfect and make every detail perfect. That is exactly what Harry Snyder did.

    [1:00:41] From his perspective, In-N-Out was simply a different creature than its competitors.

    [1:01:07] He was very much about problem solving before it became a problem.

    ----

    Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders at Founders Notes.com

    ----

    I have listened to every episode released and look forward to every episode that comes out. The only criticism I would have is that after each podcast I usually want to buy the book because I am interested, so my poor wallet suffers.” — Gareth

    Be like Gareth. Buy a book: All the books featured on Founders Podcast