The Koch family has tried for decades to keep itself out of the spotlight while building the 2nd largest private company in America. However, as this biography explains, they haven’t done the best job of it. Daniel Schulman details the Koch brothers’ lifetime of conflict with business competitors, political opponents, their companies’ shareholders and employees, and each other. It feels a bit like if someone wrote a novelization one of those epic long-running soap opera TV shows, except this all actually happened.
Whether you take interest in the history, business, politics, or psychology and sociology of it, it is a fascinating story. Schulman does not make it clear how he feels about the Kochs or their politics. He simply writes the details and gives a fair assessment of the situations—and there are some bizarre and complex situations.
The Kochs are probably the most influential family in America that you don’t know anything about, so this thorough investigation of their businesses, family, charity work, and political action is well worth reading.
The market is flooded with books about Warren Buffett. This is the 5th one that I have read. Some books assemble or quote Buffett’s writings; others reverse engineer Buffett’s investment strategy. Often these authors seem to be trying to convince you they have inside information or trying to indoctrinate you into the Buffett cult. University of Berkshire Hathaway is not one of those books. It has details you won’t find anywhere else, which makes it a relevant addition to the prolific repertoire of books about Buffett and Berkshire. Continue reading “Book Review: University of Berkshire Hathaway”
This is a neat book of magazine-style business stories. There are 12 stories about 25-100 pages each. They don’t relate to each other at all, other than all being related to business, finance, and economics.
The stories are all interesting and well-written, so it is both entertaining and informative. This gave me some lesson ideas for my entrepreneurship class.
This is a great way to learn some new business content in a fun and engaging way.
Is your business idea scalable? How can you increase production, increase profit margins, and decrease the consumer price all at the same time? It’s all about learning strategies for scaling the business, like lowering input costs by buying in bulk and taking advantage of division of labor to hire specialists.
Here is a slideshow I used to teach this to my Intro to Entrepreneurship class:
My latest article on Seeking Alpha explains how specialty pharmacy could be Amazon’s next target for industry disruption:
In specialty pharma, prices are high, revenues are rising, and customer service is lacking. Disruption of this industry isn’t just available, it is necessary. It is a perfect target for Amazon.
Read the rest here.
I am 3 days into the new Intro to Entrepreneurship class that I am teaching to 24 high school students this year. I am already having a blast, as the students—mostly freshmen—are very enthusiastic, despite several of them not being quite sure what entrepreneurship was 3 days ago. We started off by analyzing the etymology of the word entrepreneurship. Etymology is underrated as a tool for studying concepts like this. You get a peak into the cultural perspective of the time and place where the word was first invented. How cool is that?! Continue reading “Entrepreneurs: The New Adventurers”