BHLC: 1993 Notes and Reviews of Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letter

Notes on Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letter from 1993

Brief Summary of the Year:

This is an informative and very well written letter to the investors. It’s a great read. Warren Buffett is a great writer using funny jokes and embedding the content with a very deep and confident voice and company culture. He hammers down his belief in Value investing and provides laymen terms descriptions for just what exactly that means.

Notes For the Year:

Increase of 14.3 % of per-share book value

"Over the last 29 years (that is, since present management took over)
 book value has grown from $19 to $8,854, or at a rate of 23.3%
 compounded annually." - Warren Buffett

-Powerful Record! the last 29 years – 23.3% average? Amazing as the stock market average is 17% so they’re crushing it.

A change in GAAP caused problems at first but the change resulted in a net worth growth of $172 million.

Intrinsic value is a present-value estimate of the 
cash that can be taken out of a business during its remaining 
life. - Warren Buffett

-Wow. Warren Buffett’s Intrinsic Value (Wiki) definition.

Pulling examples from Coke’s

"In the short-run, the market is a voting 
machine - reflecting a voter-registration test that requires only 
money, not intelligence or emotional stability - but in the long-
run, the market is a weighing machine." - Ben Graham

He looks at a vast array of history to provide examples like Coke’s 1920 price and how 1 share of Coke in 1993 would, with dividends reinvested, today be worth $2.1 million.

Charlie Munger, Berkshire's Vice Chairman, and I can 
attain our long-standing goal of increasing Berkshire's per-share 
intrinsic value at an average annual rate of 15%.  We have not 
retreated from this goal. - Warren Buffett

Powerful statement. We have not retreated from our goal…

But we again emphasize, as we have for 
many years, that the growth in our capital base makes 15% an 
ever-more difficult target to hit. - Warren Buffett

The problem he’s saying is that Berkshire Hathaway is so big that their goals will likely become harder to hit due to the size of their capital base.

What we have going for us is a growing collection of good-
sized operating businesses that possess economic characteristics 
ranging from good to terrific, run by managers whose performance 
ranges from terrific to terrific.  You need have no worries about 
this group. - Warren Buffett

This is the big brag. He’s expressing confidence.

He’s saying, “We found the best investments ->

Traits Warren Buffett Looks for When  Investing: Good-Sized, Operating, good to terrific economic characteristics (?), terrific managers. Goes on to tell the story of acquiring Dexter Shoes and assuring the people that its a great company.

Dexter, I can assure you, needs no fixing:  It is one of the 
best-managed companies Charlie and I have seen in our business 
lifetimes.

He’s really proud of USA companies staying highly competitive:

As you probably know, the domestic shoe industry is generally thought to be unableto compete with imports from low-wage countries. But someone forgot to tell this  to the ingenious managements of Dexter and H. H. Brown and to their skilled labor forces, which together make the U.S. plants of both companies highly competitive  against all comers. - Warren Buffett

More about the Founding of Dexter Shoes.

"Five years ago we had no thought of getting into shoes.  Now we have 7,200       employees in that industry, and I sing "There's No Business Like Shoe Business" asI drive to work.  So much for strategic plans." Warren Buffett

He’s really proud and comical in this. It’s great. I wasn’t anticipating these letters to be so readable.

What they did, in effect, was trade a 100% interest in a single terrific business for a smaller interest in a large group of terrific businesses.  They incurred no tax on this exchange and now own a security that can be easily used for charitableor personal gifts, or that can be converted to cash in amounts, and at times, of  their own choosing.

-This is in regards to the sale of Dexter and it’s interesting how simple and straightforward they make it sound. I thought this would be legal heavy, but it’s not.

-Notice the focus on not paying taxes so the money could be used in charitable or personal gifts and cash.

"Additionally, Harold and Peter know that at Berkshire we can 
keep our promises:  There will be no changes of control or 
culture at Berkshire for many decades to come.  Finally, and of 
paramount importance, Harold and Peter can be sure that they will 
get to run their business - an activity they dearly love - 
exactly as they did before the merger.  At Berkshire, we do not 
tell .400 hitters how to swing." - Warren Buffett

Regarding the control of Dexter Shoes that Berkshire will not be enforcing. This may be what makes Berkshire Hathaway such a dominant force these days. “We do not tell .400 hitters how to swing.” They seek investments in which they need no new tasks after purchasing. Interesting questions: how do they run all these companies so easily. Ownership must not be a time suck for them.

Our intent is to supply you with the financial information that we would wish you to give us if our positions were reversed. - Warren Buffett

The Golden Rule – Do to others as you would have them do unto you – The Warren Buffett approach to communicating with investors.

In the past, we've criticized the managerial practice of shooting the arrow of    performance and then painting the target, centering it on whatever point the arrowhappened to hit.  We will instead risk embarrassment by painting first and        shooting later. - Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett’s commitment to goal setting, the importance of honesty when striving to reach goals.

There's no use running if you're on the wrong road. - Warren Buffett

As always, he sums it up excellently in non-investor terms. This is his explanation saying that: “it makes no sense to invest simply because you have cash in the bank”

Going into TAXES

Charlie and I have absolutely no complaint about these taxes.  We know we work in a market-based economy that rewards our efforts far more bountifully than it does the efforts of others whose output is of equal or greater benefit to society.     Taxation should, and does, partially redress this inequity.  But we still remain  extraordinarily well-treated. - Warren Buffett

Powerful statement on taxes, and how people are living amazing lives and the taxes help the less “bountiful.”

Charlie and I would follow a buy-and-hold policy even if we ran a tax-exempt      institution.  We think its the soundest way to invest, and it also goes down the  grain of our personalities. - Warren Buffett

Charlie and Warren are just good old people purchasing companies that have long term value.

Appassionatta Van Climax

Great story of a comic book that reflects the nature of exponential investing power and the mindset to really get it. Story of the temptress – guy wants to marry her but needs 1 million – the double your money once a year lesson –  still it’s a call to the importance of Long Term – Buy and Hold policy.

Mentions the nominal nature of the effect on the fund by the Los Angeles Earthquake.

But if the quake had been a 7.5 instead of a 6.8, it would have been a different  story. - Warren Buffett

He uses big meta data packed phrases like this to really go deep without boring the audience for the article (e.g. describing the statistics related in trusting/not trusting Earthquake data.

All in all, we have a first-class insurance business.  Though its results will be highly volatile, this operation possesses an intrinsic value that exceeds its bookvalue by a large amount - larger, in fact, than is the case at any other Berkshirebusiness. - Warren Buffett

-Big explanation about the state of Berkshires’s favorable insurance standing

...it is usually foolish to part with an interest in a business that is both      understandable and durably wonderful. - Warren Buffett

Again, on the value of buy and hold on the basis of intrinsic value. What makes a intrinsic business? It is “understandable and durably wonderful.”

In our view, what makes sense in business also makes sense in stocks:  An investorshould ordinarily hold a small piece of an outstanding business with the same     tenacity that an owner would exhibit if he owned all of that business.            - Warren Buffett

On staying with a company religiously – true relationship to the idea of “investing.” They place importance in being a new partner for the company. Their trust is a pillar of the companies they purchase likely.

Indeed, we'll now settle for one good idea a year.  (Charlie says it's my turn.)

On the irregularities of their purchases. 1 a year between the two of them.

In fact, the true investor welcomes volatility.  Ben Graham explained why in      Chapter 8 of The Intelligent Investor.  There he introduced "Mr. Market"

Get a copy of The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham on Amazon.

Mr. Market is the guy at your door everyday ready to buy and sell. The crazier that Dude looks, the more opportunities are on offer. But it shouldn’t stress you out, you can always just buy nothing and sell nothing.

The primary factors bearing upon this evaluation [of real risk] 
are:

     1) The certainty with which the long-term economic 
        characteristics of the business can be evaluated;

     2) The certainty with which management can be evaluated, 
        both as to its ability to realize the full potential of 
        the business and to wisely employ its cash flows;

     3) The certainty with which management can be counted on 
        to channel the rewards from the business to the 
        shareholders rather than to itself;

     4) The purchase price of the business;

     5) The levels of taxation and inflation that will be 
        experienced and that will determine the degree by which 
        an investor's purchasing-power return is reduced from his 
        gross return. - Warren Buffett

My sum up of the rules for evaluating risk:

1. Long term growth potential (Blockbuster no Good)

2. Can the team do what the company needs to survive

3. Trust in Managers to not be greedy

4. The price

5. Taxes

Moreover, both Coke and Gillette have actually increased their 
worldwide shares of market in recent years.  The might of their 
brand names, the attributes of their products, and the strength of 
their distribution systems give them an enormous competitive 
advantage, setting up a protective moat around their economic 
castles.

Interesting mindset: The brand, product and distribution systems of medium companies are the attractive attributes as they provide long term “economic castles.”

The theoretician bred on beta has no mechanism for 
differentiating the risk inherent in, say, a single-product toy 
company selling pet rocks or hula hoops from that of another toy 
company whose sole product is Monopoly or Barbie.

On the Power of Brand – It’s hard for purely data guys to see the difference between a hula hoop and a barbie.

Why search for a needle buried in a haystack when one is sitting in plain sight?  - Warren Buffett

Optimal Minimalism – Sometimes the easy road is the better one followed.

Corporate Governance section going into what happens if Buffett is hit by a truck.

For the boards just discussed, I believe the directors ought 
to be relatively few in number - say, ten or less - and ought to 
come mostly from the outside.  The outside board members should 
establish standards for the CEO's performance and should also 
periodically meet, without his being present, to evaluate his 
performance against those standards.

This about the attributes of a quality team of board members (few in number, come from outside the business) and have a structure in which the board reports to the CEO.

The requisites for board membership should be business savvy, 
interest in the job, and owner-orientation.  Too often, directors 
are selected simply because they are prominent or add diversity to 
the board.  That practice is a mistake. - Warren Buffett

What it takes to be on the board at Berkshire Hathaway.  Also, he calls out the practice of having predominant directors simply because they are predominant. They should be experts in the space and be able to produce value in the company based on the work they will do for the organization.

If the controlling owner is intelligent and self-confident, he will make decisionsin respect to management that are meritocratic and pro-shareholder. Moreover - andthis is critically important - he can readily correct any mistake he makes.       - Warren Buffett

On why people in the industry should be heading the companies. Also, he focuses on the incentive for the controlling owner to be in charge.

All in all, we're prepared for "the truck." - Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett has created a systems of governance so if he dies tomorrow, Berkshire Hathaway will continue on without him.

Indeed, our entire corporate overhead is less than half the size of our charitablecontributions.  (Charlie, however, insists that I tell you that $1.4 million of   our $4.9 million overhead is attributable to our corporate jet, The Indefensible.)

This consistent message in the letter, “We are giving away a lot and very frugal… but we are doing just fine.”

-A Big list on charitable givings to places like churches and synagogues, colleges and universities, k-12 schools, art humanities, religious social-service organizations, secular social-service organizations, hospitals & health related organizations. – NOTE: These are the donations from Berkshire Investors who give money to charities.

To participate in future programs, you must make sure your 
shares are registered in the name of the actual owner, not in the 
nominee name of a broker, bank or depository.  Shares not so 
registered on August 31, 1994 will be ineligible for the 1994 
program.

They enjoy working with investors 1 on 1 and not having a bank or broker between them.

Mrs. B - Rose Blumkin - had her 100th birthday on December 3, 
1993.  (The candles cost more than the cake.)  That was a day on 
which the store was scheduled to be open in the evening.  Mrs. B, 
who works seven days a week, for however many hours the store 
operates, found the proper decision quite obvious:  She simply 
postponed her party until an evening when the store was closed.

Incredible stories of personal notes but with a hint of the frugality and hard work that is core to their company culture.

Our part in all of this began ten years ago when Mrs. B sold control of the       business to Berkshire Hathaway, a deal we completed without obtaining audited     financial statements, checking real estate records, or getting any warranties.  Inshort, her word was good enough for us.
Don Keough, as an individual, invariably increases the happiness of those around  him.  It's impossible to think about Don without feeling good.

What elegant words. Don Keough must be a great guy.

The impressions I formed in those days about Don were a factor 
in my decision to have Berkshire make a record $1 billion 
investment in Coca-Cola in 1988-89.  Roberto Goizueta had become 
CEO of Coke in 1981, with Don alongside as his partner.  The two of 
them took hold of a company that had stagnated during the previous 
decade and moved it from $4.4 billion of market value to $58 
billion in less than 13 years.  What a difference a pair of 
managers like this makes, even when their product has been around 
for 100 years.

Addressing great managers Keough and Roberto Goizueta.

Details on the Annual Meeting – Where it’s held, 2,200 people turning up, will have the holding’s consumer products displayed.

Funny Note:

At the Meeting they have a ferry to the Nebraska Furniture Mart.

He tells everyone about the baseball game the day before the event (mentions a probably unsuccessful investment in the Royals.)

 I will throw the first pitch on the 23rd, and it's a certainty 
that I will improve on last year's humiliating performance.  On 
that occasion, the catcher inexplicably called for my "sinker" and 
I dutifully delivered a pitch that barely missed my foot.  This 
year, I will go with my high hard one regardless of what the 
catcher signals, so bring your speed-timing devices.  The proxy 
statement will include information about obtaining tickets to the 
game.  I regret to report that you won't have to buy them from 
scalpers.

Ends on a funny note.

Wow. Great Article really.

Continue reading “BHLC: 1993 Notes and Reviews of Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Letter”

Why I Love Spending Time in Graveyards

Ghosty Graveyard Gazebos
Time is unique. It can’t be bought, traded or reclaimed.

Being surrounded by monuments to the deceased reinforces this for me.

Walking through the graveyard today it struck me that every moment is a bizarre, astounding strike of luck .

Sutherland Creamatorium

The opportunities to serve others in the connection economy is limitless.

I’ve been asked, “Are you done working?”

The answer is always no.

There is no limit to what can be done for clients or other web assets. My restraint is and will always be time.

This mindset provides the ingredients for nervous breakdown. When facing infinite possibilities, my internal chatter is at times deafening. It’s enough to make you go crazy.

But being surrounded by monuments to the deceased quiets that chatter.

Reading epitaphs brings clarity to the truth that we exist in an infinitely fortunate place, the present.

Celebrating-Death-Throwing-Water

So we run through graveyards and appreciate the sanctity of life.

This is the moment that you are experiencing now.

Running-In-Graveyard

Everyone Needs to Read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

What more is there to say?

This is the most entrancing book that I have ever read.

I read this book while in the hinterland of Australia. Each day I would awake before sunrise and pick fruit for maybe 10 hours and get back home before the sunset. I would read Shantaram despite being exhausted. The story carried my conscious thought.

The book is large with 944 pages. That being said, I came upon the 944th page by surprise and when I turned the last page I was surprised and disappointed that I had finished the book.

About a year later I listened to the book on audible (get the audiobook on your iPhone for free by singing up with Audible here) and was blown away again. The voice actor in the audible recording does an amazing job of portraying the diverse international motif of character accents in the book in a way that adds depth to the overall experience of the novel.

You can get the physical book mailed to you or you can listen to it.

So listen up friends. I’d love to discuss the book with you. It did change my life.

A System For Effective Time Management

As business grows, I’m implementing a system for effective time management that will allow me to leverage my time and create more abundance for my team and clients.

Here are some effectiveness tips that I’ve used to get more done.

1. Move it Once

When I worked in construction, we used to have a rule that we would move material only once.

When the siding was delivered, we either had the delivery guys take it straight to the location where it was needed, or we moved it there right away. If you ever catch yourself moving building material 2-3 times because it’s in the way, or you need the space to do another part of the project, you’re killing your productivity.

It’s much easier in a physical world to set the rule that you only move things once. A bag of concrete is a pain to handle over and over again. This same physical constraint doesn’t hold the same sway for eMails or CRM tools. It’s much easier to pass duties and materials around with eMails and CRM. In all reality, it’s just as ineffective, but we don’t feel it the same as we used to when we had to move rocks.

The lesson here is to move things as little as possible until they are in their final position.

2. List the 6 Accomplishments of the Day 

In order to avoid being reactive all day, I’m making a list of 6 tasks that will move the mission along. Big steps. Make them daring.

For Example, as a podcast production company, my list will often look like this:

  1. Produce the Latest Episode of a Show
  2. Structure the New Deal
  3. Respond to Leads from spreadsheet and e-mail optin
  4. Write a Blog for Content Marketing Purposes
  5. Follow up with X Client on Payment
  6. Develop system for new employee

3. Plan The Time You Will Spend

Now I’ll go through and allocate time to each task

  1. Structure the New Deal: Call, Send Contract and Invoice ( 1 hrs) 
  2. Respond to Leads from spreadsheet and e-mail optins ( .5 hrs)
  3. Write a Blog for Content Marketing Purposes (.5 hrs)
  4. Follow up with X Client on Payment (.25 hrs)
  5. Develop system for new employee (1.75 hrs)

Notice, my cumulative working hours are 6 or less. That’s realistic because anything more is expecting that there will be no interruptions during the day. Committing to less is a great way to ensure that I accomplish the objectives I committed to.

I make the list somewhere between 3-7 items. I try not to go crazy as a list that I can’t complete will weigh on my subconscious all day. I’ll end up feeling like a failure.

4. Plan the Day

Schedule:

  • 6:00-6:45 Surf, Eat Breakfast and make coffee
  • 7:00-7:30 Call with Client in the USA
  • 7:30-8:30 Respond to Leads from spreadsheet and e-mail optins
  • 8:30-11:00 CrossFit Workout
  • 1:00-12:00 Structure the New Deal: Call, Send Contract and Invoice
  • 12:00-12:15 Follow up with X Client on Payment
  • 1:30-2:00 Lunch
  • 2:00-3:45 Develop system for new employee
  • 3:00-5:00 Be Available for Productive Reaction to the Daily Grind
  • 5:00-5:30 Write a Blog for Content Marketing Purposes

5. Prioritize

I try to focus on difficult stuff that I’m afraid of. That is the hard work. That’s the important work.

6. Throw Away Tasks That Don’t Matter

Get rid of the tasks that don’t matter. It might seem hard at first to let things go, but do not feel bad about it. When you get to a point where you can skip tasks, it’s important to learn to do that.

Thank you for reading.

Hat Tip to The Ultimate Sales Machine for the system.

Book Notes: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

Why The Millionaire Next Door

Notes on the Millionaire Next door by Thomas Stanley and a book reviewYeah, “why did you read this one Ian?” -> This one is obvious.

When I picked up this book, I did it because to become a millionaire I figured I might as well know what millionaires are like.

Truth is I don’t know any millionaires.

I know people who are wealthy. Perhaps the sum total of the houses they own would amount to a million dollars. But when I think millionaires, I think people with yatchs and helicopters and people who donate lots of money to political parties and stuff like that.

When I examine this, I realized that this is not a very well founded perspective and if I was really to make a drive towards becoming a millionaire, I should really understand what a millionaire is.

Anyway, I got to rebuild a steel awning in the Gold Coast and listen to this book. Though my notes where sparse at times, when I wasn’t cutting giant pieces of steel and carrying around heavy, hot metal, I was taking notes and internalizing the lessons from this book….

Reading Notes for The Millionaire Next Door

Less than $15,000 is the median net worth of Americans

80% of America’s rich are first generation rich

7 common denominators of wealthy people 
1. they live way below their means
2. They allocate their time, energy and money efficiently in ways conducive to building wealth.
3. They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high status
4. Their parents did not provide economic outpatient care
5. Their adult children are economically self-sufficient
6. They are proficient at targeting market opportunities
7. They chose the right occupation
UAW – Under Accumulators of wealth
AAW – Average Accumulators of wealth
PAW – Proficient Accumulators of Wealth

This book is the study of what distinguishes these people

Russian ancestry Americans make up 5 percent of American wealth. They are the highest per capital wealth holders in the USA by ancestry. Scottish to exhibit high levels of per capita ratio millionaires.

The higher population of an ancestry group, the lower the probability that they will have a high millionaire per capita ratio.

Self-employment is a major positive correlate to wealth

Immigrants are often hard working entrepreneurs who accumulate wealth. Their children are raised to have better lives than them. They are less productive as they down more time in college and come out with a sense of need for the finer things. This is why America needs more immigrants.

So funny. For the first Deca millionaire study, they brought out caviar and vintage wine. The Deca millionaires didn’t touch it. One said, in response to the offer of wine, “I drink scotch, and two types of beer; free and Budweiser”
The researchers liked the caviar an pâté, but the millionaires didn’t touch them.

There words that profile the affluent: frugal, frugal, frugal

Frugal – behavior characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources

Being frugal is the cornerstone of wealth building.

Millionaires understand:

The typical millionaire has less than 7% of his wealth in realized revenue

The more one spends, the more they must realize. The more they realize, the more they must allocate for income taxes. Millionaires and those heading that direction follow an important rule

To build wealth, minimize your realized income and maximize your unrealized income.

Income tax is the largest expense for many Americans.

Is your goal to be financially independent?

It takes planning and sacrificing.

Your plan should be to sacrifice consumption spending today for independence tomorrow.

Earning $100,000 is necessary for buying a $68,000 boat. Millionaires tend to think this way.

Another rule:
If you’re not yet wealthy, but want to be someday, never purchase a home that requires a mortgage that is more than twice your total annualized income. 

Operating a household without a budget is akin to operating a business without a plan or goals.

Most politicians don’t understand the difference between targeting those with high income and those with a large amount of wealth

Millionaires spend most of their investing time (which is often 8 hours per month) planning and studying their specific investment strategies

Dr. North vs. Dr. South

It’s easier to accumulate wealth if dont live in a high status neighborhood.

3:56:0 – going to sleep

You can’t tell a millionaire by the car they drive

Think about the price per pound of your car

The jeep grand Cherokee is the most common millionaire car

Seeds are like dollars, you can eat them or you can watch them grow

Intellect is what you sell when you’re in business. A wealthy Jewish man said who had fled Nazi Germany. They can take everything, but it is a persons intellect which is so powerful and will rebuild their wealth.

Many 1st gen millionaires are entrepreneurs. Their success stems from living very frugally and constantly working  on their businesses. Luck is often involved.

Dull normal businesses are the ones that most wealthy people own (sandblasting contractor, building material sales, specialty advertising distributor)

The most successful entrepreneurs that we have interviewed have one characteristic in common: they all enjoy what they do. All take pride in going at it alone.

Mind you 3/4ths of millionaires in the study owned their own business.

My overall take away from The Millionaire Next Door

First off… Frugality. Millionaires are frugal.

Secondly, millionaires are probably not even  perceptible. In fact, there is a good chance that I might know millionaires and not be aware of it because they act frugally.

Now, I’m not sure if this is correct or not. I perceive many people that have lots and lots of wealth but perhaps they are just big spenders. I think this is possible… but to me it’s about being frugal and saving money so that you can use it to create assets that earn income that isn’t subject to income tax.

Finally, I don’t know if being a millionaire is something to specifically strive for. I mean, If I had 40,000 I could live quite happily for a good amount of years in Bali or Panama. Many of these millionaires are crippled by what to do with all their money when they get old. Seems like a good problem to have, you might say…. Well, I’d rather have a beautiful orchard + ranch and spend on nice parties as I grow older rather than have to banter with lawyers over how to split up my fortune with a bunch of needy people trying to pick it to pieces.

The Millionaire Next Door was a Great Book and I Hope You Gleamed Value From the Above Notes

If you go to Audible  through this link you can get a free copy of this book and listen to it while you rip metal buildings apart.

Of course, Amazon will send a copy of the book to your door. All you have to do is order it by clicking through this link.

 

Book Notes: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Why The Tipping Point

Book Review and Notes on The Tipping Point by Malcolm GladwellI guess who hasn’t heard of Malcolm Gladwell right? Well, he wrote a book a while back called Outliers which I liked a lot. Perhaps I only read the first chapter because I remember the “Hockey Players are Always Born in Month 1-3 of the Year” very well.

Anyways, Malcolm is a great thought leader and I appreciate every point he comes up with. This one is all about how the little stuff can get huge with the proper conditions so it’s full of valuable lessons.

Reading Notes for The Tipping Point

Hush puppies popularity and NYC crime fall are examples of event that saw a tipping point.

Dunbar’s number of 150 is the number of relationships a person can maintain.

Relationships meaning they are connections in which you know who a person is and what they mean to you. This really is the core of human connection.

We want groups to serve as incubators for contagious growth. Groups of less than 150 will be the most effective.

Peer pressure is much more powerful than the fear of a boss

To make a big movement, you’ve gotta make lots of small things

Airwalking

Diffusion Studies explain how elements move through population

Start something – early adopters – early majority and finally the late majority and lastly the laggards

Lambeses was the advertising executive who would study youth outliers in expectation of the next big thing. With luck they could get ahead so air walk would be considered the leader in counterculture trend development.

Starting epidemics requires concentrating resources on a few key areas.

The Law of the Few – have resources solely concentrated on

Connectors | Mavens | Sales People

With the slightest push it can be tipped

CocaCola sickness in Belgium…. Kids go sick from sulfide a in the carbonation process, but the sulfide a were minuscule. The spread of the sickness wasn’t due to the sulfides, it was due to the sociological effect of everyone thinking they were sick.

We have chemicals and contaminants today, it used to be witches and demons

Manifestation if a threat that I wholly imagined

115 documented cases of hysteria scares in the last 20 year.

Fax machine effect . The first fax machine was expensive and worthless. It’s value doubled when they made the second one. Each time a fax machine was used, the value of the machines grew because they connected more people.

When you buy a fax machine, you buy access to the fax network…. Not jus a plastic box.

Also known as the Law of Plenitude ( not Kevin Kelley )

– this is related to podcasting, the first podcast was nearly worthless, but as the networks grow, the audience comes in and the marginal value of the medium grows.

My overall take away from The Tipping Point

Again Gladwell shifts the way I think. The most sticky points he made for me at the time of reading this (most of which I read on a tremendous walk from the Spit to Nobby’s Beach along the Gold Coast of Australia) was the Fax Machine Effect and the hysteria. The value of networks is so interesting to me, growing up in this time of insane networking (building the central nervous system for a new age of consciousness?) Of course, I always appreciate the idea that mass groups of people lose mass capacity for critical thinking. As a dedicated outsider, I find that group dynamics are the creepiest, most non-trustworthy places to be in and I appreciate a scientific writer doing the work to really show that in objective terms.

So this is another great one. Malcolm Gladwell is a stud.

If These Notes on The Tipping Point Were Helpful to You, I’m Happy for That

You can get a free copy of this book by singing up as a new member with Audible  through this link.

Amazon also sells the book and can send it your way right now if you click here.

Effective E-Mail Communication

Let’s be hyper productive and make the world a better place.

I receive hundreds of emails per day and am working diligently to respond as much as possible. This is a reactive process that I deeply appreciate. It is also important that I spend most of my time in a proactive state.

To maximize our mutual proactive states, let’s follow these best e-mail practices.

With Color Added

Notes for Effective eMail Communication:

  • Make the Subject Line Descriptive – Make the purpose easy to identify

When replying with a shift in direction, change the subject line to reflect new direction.

  • Number Points – Make action items clear.

Numbered points help to make action steps identifiable and easier to execute.

  • Reflect – Read it over to ensure clear, succinct idea transmission.

Long lingering eMails are much more challenging to respond to effectively.

  • Be Solution Oriented – Asking questions is great,  but provide solutions when possible.

Solutions are what we’re all after. If you can provide direction, it will be easier to reply effectively.

With Appreciation,

Ian Robinson

Special Thanks:

Tip of the hat to Chris Ducker’s Rule of 3, Niall Doherty and The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes for inspiring this post.
E-mail Best Practices

Book Notes: Good To Great by James C. Collins

Why Good to Great

Book Review and Notes on Good to Great by Jim C. CollinsI don’t know where I learned about this book. It seems like it’s just one of those books that everyone seeking to achieve something massive in their lives has to read. I want to do some amazing things.

During the course of my life I’m committed to seeing a turnaround in rainforest destruction and see the human race allow for regeneration of the rainforests and the biosphere as a whole.

So Good to Great seems like an important book of lessons for someone with audacious goals like this.

Aside from some of the stuff that clearly dates the book (like when he uses Fannie Mae as an example of a ‘great’ company.) All of the points in the book came as valuable resources to me.

It’s about getting people on board the ship and empowering them to make the ship unstoppable because everyone on board is working together to get that ship to Hawaii… or wherever.

So it’s another useful book that comes highly recommended. Here are my notes…

Reading Notes for Good to Great

2001 – a bit dated

Very scientific approach

Good to to Great companies – fanny Mae, Phillip Morris, Walgreens

You must be willing to go to the end of the world at your core business.

Data driven focus

Darwin Smith – CEO who took his company (Kimberly Clark) to record numbers

5 levels of Leadership

1. Highly capable individual – makes productive contribution through talent skills and productive work habits.

2. Contributing team member. Contributes individual capabilities to the effective gain of the whole team

3. Competent manager – organizes people and resources towards the effective mutual goal

4. Effective leader – catalyzes a movement towards a compelling vision stimulating high standards

5. Level 5 Executive – builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of humility and professional will

Good to great company leaders had a focus on the company being great rather than themselves.

“You’re either on the bus or off the bus.” – Keysey

Get people onboard first to get a really unstoppable bus. Then the bus will be the powerhouse so if you have to change directions, you can.

With the wrong people on the bus, fuck where it’s going, it’s not going to make it there

Level 5 executives say:
“I don’t know where we should start with this company, but I do know that if I get the right people, ask them the right questions, and encourage vigorous debate, we will find a way to make this company great.”

Not a genius with a thousand helpers

Executive pay isn’t correlated with a great company.

People are the core of all successful companies. What makes a good company? People, people, people, people.

My overall take away from Good to Great

It’s all about the people baby. Yes. This is what I struggle with in my little podcast publishing company. I’m currently the book keeper to the designer. Gotta step away and start brining on superstars who can help us grow the thing to epic proportions.

I Hope These Notes on Good to Great You in a Useful Way

You can get a free copy of this book by singing up as a new member with Audible  through this link.

Good to Great is available on Amazon and you can have some people brining it to your doorstep simply by clicking over here.