Giants of Enterprise: Seven business innovators and the empires they built

giantsofent.jpg Giants of Enterprise: Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built, by Harvard Business School professor Richard S. Tedlow, is the story of seven great American entrepreneurs of the last century who created new industries or new business from nothing. In this 528-page book, Professor Tedlow describes the lives and works of Andrew Carnegie (the steel magnate), George Eastman (the founder of Kodak), Henry Ford (the man who brought cars to the masses), Thomas Watson Sr. (the founder of IBM), Charles Revson (the man behind the success of Revlon), Sam Walton (the founder of Walmart), and Robert Noyce (the driving force behind Silicon Valley). Professor Tedlow is impressed by the contributions of these seven great American heroes. (as are almost all of us), but that does not stop him from critically exploring their personal and professional triumphs and failures.  

The book is very informative BUT it is long! I personally don’t have an issue with reading long books, especially when they entertain and inform me about highly succesful entrepreneurs who broke old rules and created new ones, but I know of many people for whom the biggest obstacle to reading this book is its length. Frankly, I think Professor Tedlow could write a much shorter version of the same book and likely find it to be more popular for use in business schools and entrepreneurship classes.    



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49 responses to “Giants of Enterprise: Seven business innovators and the empires they built

  1. Nikki W

    I’m reading Giants of Enterprise and I am enjoying it so far. The writing of Tedlow is a little winded but I’m sure I’ll adjust. Right now I am reading about Andrew Carnegie and his relationship with his childhood mentor. It’s actually very interesting to know that mentors aren’t just a thing of today, they were around back in the 1800’s when Carnegie was growing up. More to come next time.

  2. billwickes0420

    I am also currently reading “Giants of Enterprise” and the influence Scott had on his life. I never knew that he disliked his father so much due to the fact of his dad not bringing home money. I thought it was funny that his mother, the influence in his life, would not let him marry till the day she died. Ironic that he named his daughter after his mother right?

  3. Bobbie Adams

    I am reading “Giants of the Enterprise,” by Richard Tedlow. Other countries have people that are the best and excel in certain occupations. For America, it is starting and nurturing companies. This book is about the seven entrepreneurs Tedlow feels is the best of the best. He chose these particular seven because their lives and careers span over a long period of time and show how founding and building companies change over time in different regions of the United States. I am really interested to see exactly why these seven are so special to Tedlow and why, or according to him, “why not.” There are just so many other great entrepreneurs out there he could have chosen from. It is going to be fun to read about all the different in depth backgrounds and lives of these entrepreneurs and with out them these companies may have never been started. I found it crazy that George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, was actually very lonely and eventually committed suicide. Despite that, I really admire how these seven capitalists were seizing opportunities in spite of what others saw as constraints. Especially in a field of human activity that is so riddled with fads. It is going to be a long book, but right now seems to be a pretty easy read.

  4. Trevor Luchsinger

    Im just getting started reading this book. It seems to be very interesting. the book is mainly about these 7 entrepreneurs that the author thinks is the best examples to show how companies change over a long period of time in different parts of the US.

  5. jacob brown

    I am reading Giant of Enterprise, and am at the end of the Andrew Carnigie story. I thought his relationship with Scott was interesting. He is mentored by Scott and then in the end Carnigie is alot richer than Scott. Scott didnt have luck on his side when he did the Texas project, which ruined his reputation. Even though Carnigie had an investment in that, he still skyrocketed to the top of the financial world and ended up being one of the richest people of his time.

  6. Edward T Habermeyer

    Okay. I am not much of a reader and this things is huge and drawn out. I just started reading about Andrew Carnegie and his relationship with his mentor. The relationships and family dynamics are pretty interesting but seem kind of drawn out. It will be interesting to see these entreprenuers through differnet times and how they will find a way to succede. So I will struggle through this thing and hopefully get some educational bennefit.

  7. nbuda

    I am reading Giants of Enterprise. I just started the book, and although I think the writing is all over the place and follows no specific format, it does shed some interesting light on Andrew Carnegie. I was specifically interested to learn about Carnegie’s father Will, who could not adapt in America as a weaver. It was interesting to read the Andrew took his father’s place along side his mother in almost a weird and un natural way even for those times. It sounds as though Carnegie was a very fortunate and lucky businessman his entire life that was shadowed by his need of attention and his hypocritical words and actions regarding labor unions.

  8. I am reading the second entrepreneurial story of the first part, “The Rise to Global Economic Power” of the book. Both stories describe entrepreneurial success in a time where America was characterized by huge economic growth. Tedlow does not only tell Andrew Carnegie’s success story, he also gives insights why Carnegie acted in the way he did. To illustrate this, Tedlow shows how Carnegie grew up, his family background and how he realized that investing money could result in even more money in the steal industry. The story of the founder of KODAK, George Eastman, seems very similar so far. Furthermore, it is interesting that Tedlow mentions details about Eastman’s sometimes strange personality.

  9. Frank Hebert

    I began reading Giants of Enterprise recently, but haven’t made it very far yet. I am still reading about Andrew Carnegie, and found it interesting that he was an immigrant from Scotland who wrote about many things, but often did the opposite of what he wrote, quite an odd guy, in my opinion.

  10. Heather S

    I am reading Giants of Enterprise, and am currently on the section about Andrew Carnegie. One part of his story, that I find particularly interesting, is when he worked for O’Reilly Telegraph Company. Carnegie began working as a telegraph messenger. There were many telegraph messengers at that time, and work was to deliver messages to people “more important than you.” Carnegie did not see this job as dull and boring, as other messengers did. He saw this job as being a great opportunity to meet businessmen in the community. These contacts helped him learn a lot about business. This ties in well with what we have talked about in class. Your networking and contacts are great assets when starting a business.

  11. billwickes0420

    I just finished reading about Andrew Carnegie and his dominance in the steel industry. He was so smart to build his steel mill during the depression – it cost him 3 times less to do so. His great mind made him rule the industry with these rules to abide by:
    Hire the best engineers to design the plants. Spend what needs to be spent to keep operating costs low. Only the slimmest margins were necessary, and in fact only they were desirable. The lower the margins, the lower the price. The lower the price, the larger the market. The lager the market, the greater the scale of economies. The greater the scale of economies, the greater the competitive advantage. – Pure genius; he makes it sound so easy, but to actually do it, thats what made him extremely successful.

  12. Nick Stoysich

    I was surprised to find out Andrew Carnegie came from an extremely poor family. I knew his family did not have much money, but I didn’t know the extent of it. It was interesting to see how his father worked as a weaver and couldn’t really adapt to the American way of life. It almost seemed as if Carnegie was perfectly built for success. Also to develop on heather’s point on how he liked his job his job working as a telegraph messenger, it really showed how much he looked for opportunities to advance himself in everything he did.

  13. Joe Warren

    I recently started reading Giants of Enterprise. I am currently reading about Andrew Carnegie. I think it is interesting that his mentor, Thomas Scott was more of a father figure to him than his actual father was. He taught him so many things that his father never did or would have. It would have been interesting what would have happened in Carnegie’s life if he hadn’t met Scott.

  14. Megan Gates

    I am currently reading Giants of Enterprise. So far I have read about Andrew Carnegie. I think it is very interesting he took more after his mother than his father, as boys tend to follow men and women to women most often in the business world. It has been interesting to read about how he and his family started out so poor in the US and by him working 3 jobs and his mother working they pulled their family out of debt very quickly. While his father did nothing but hold onto a dead end profession. it just shows that determination is the key to success. I also thought it was interesting he taught himself a trade without any help from anyone else. just by listening to the telegraph he was able to learn morse code.

  15. Nick Buda

    As I continue to read Giants of Enterprise (this is my February post) I feel that George Eastman was a brilliant inventor who revolutionized the photography/camera industry. However, the most startling peice of this man’s life is not the fact that he introduced the Brownie camera, and made photography affordable to anyone, not that he developed the film canister, or the fact that he quietly resigned from the company he quietly built. It is in my opinion that no matter how wealthy he was, or how many acquaintences he had, he was a lonely depressed man with no family life. He was a man that decided on March 14, 1932 that he had nothing left to live for and killed himself. The fact that he planned his entire suicide and did it in a calm, rational manner is almost too much to grasp. I guess the old saying money doesn’t buy you happiness must have been true for George Eastman.

  16. Jacob Brown

    (February Post) During the past month of reading Giants of Enterprise, I read George Eastman, Henry Ford, and am now about half way done with Thomas Walton. George Eastman was a wealthy business man, whom found out that money doesnt buy happiness (which I still don’t believe). Henry Ford was a rough man and the book portrayed him as being a rather angry person. His father was not a supporter of Henry when he presented his idea to him. That did not stop him as he went off to start his business. Henry changed the way America builds cars with his mass production methods. So far, in the Thomas Watson part of the book, he is portrayed as an ambitious person. I found it interesting that he was 21 yrs old and unemployed when John Patterson hired him to work at NCR. Then from there, he turned into the the worlds greatest salesmen.

  17. Edward T Habermeyer

    (February post) During the past month of reading Giants of Enterprise, I finally got through reading about George Eastman and it was pretty crazy. I have a hard time understanding how a man with so much going for him could still be so down. It seemed that maybe there was no escape from the inevitable and eventual suicide once you realize that he actually planned it out. But for me it still seems hard that money can’t at all buy happiness. The things he brought to life really brought much happiness to the consumer. We have all gotten enjoyment from pictures and he got it started. His resignation seemed very weird and hard to comprehend but I really think he had too many demons for me to be able to relate to his decision making.

  18. Phillip

    The last story in the first part of Giants of Enterprises is the success story of Henry Ford. Ford’s idea and vision was a car that is affordable for everyone. Ford was born 1863 in Michigan, he quited school and left his hometown to work in Detroit. This decision brought up some dispute with his father which Tedlow demonstrates. In Detroit, Henry Ford became passionate about automobiles and designed his first car in 1896. Henry Ford founded the Henry Ford Company in 1901 in Detroit and the company’s breakthrough came with the introduction of Model T in 1908.

    In the second part “The Heart of the American century” Tedlow presents two great business leaders from the mid 20th century, Thomas J. Watson Sr. and Charles Revson. Before he illustrates Watson’s career and how he became the CEO of IBM, he shows why Watson was such an outstanding salesman. In 1915, Watson was announced as president of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording which was renamed later in IBM. Watson managed IBM very successful by developing an efficient management which made IBM to a cost-effective selling corporation. The way Charles Revson reached the peak of his career was to influence customer, primarily women, to treat cosmetics as daily important basic. His key to the excellent achievements of his company was pleasant and well-thought out advertising to convince potential customers.

    The stories about Ford and Watson seem too lengthy to me because I had already known their success stories, but I am still enjoying to read the book. This weekend I’m planning to start with the 3rd part of the book.

  19. Nikki W.

    I just finished reading about Andrew Carnegie and his successful career and life in the steel industry. It is interesting to know that he grew up in poor and ended up being the richest. I think it is intruiging that after all Carnegie contributed to the American Steel industry he still felt there was something missing. He still wasn’t completely fulfilled. By this I mean how he was so adimate about having world peace. Tedlow describes it well “Carnegie wanted to be a force in the world not only of steel but also of ideas and of politics.” I think he put this perfectly. It was obvious that Carnegie was not solely happy with just the steel industry.

    I also just started reading about George Eastman, which is a drastic change from Andrew Carnegie. I enjoy the change of pace in the book otherwise it would be a boring. Thus far, it sounds like Eastman had a very diverse family background and it looks like Tedlow has a very interesting story to tell. I was surprised when I read that Eastman was living in Rochester while his family was living somewhere completely different. Just from reading that it seems like he’s somewhat of a loner.

  20. Heather S

    Before reading the story of George Eastman, I was very curious as to why he named his camera Kodak. As told in Giants of Enterprise, Eastman has always liked the letter K, which was the first letter of his mother’s maiden name. He wanted a unique word to meet the trademark requirements in England, and word that was easy to pronounce, thus came the idea of Kodak. It is interesting how names of products are created. Eastman learned that the best way to keep leadership with his product was to keep his company a “moving target.” He thought that if he could constantly get improved goods out to the public, nobody would be able to follow and compete. He wanted to maintain continuous improvement. Kodak was one of many items that proved the value of the brand. I also found it very attention-grabbing that Eastman purchased a camera for nearly $50, had to pay for instruction to use it, and less than 30 years later, you could buy a camera made by Eastman for merely $1, that lessons for use were not needed.

  21. Frank Hebert

    I have just finished the chapter on George Eastman and am starting to read about Henry Ford. I found it strange that Eastman never married and eventually committed suicide, there wasn’t much explanation on why this might have happened either. I also never knew that Ford was an anti-semitest and actually received an award from Hitler’s Third Reich. These facts have changed my views on him a bit.

  22. Adrienne Losee

    well, i guess i’m the behind one because my book just arrived a few days ago, so i’m underway …..

  23. Bobbie Adams

    This book is very long and can get boring at times. But it does give a lot of very interesting facts about these men that changed business. But some I found kind of useless, like when they were comparing Carnegie and Rockefeller. I didn’t really know why they were even talking about Rockefeller; he isn’t one of the seven. They only had one thing in common, that they craved money because it gave them power. Maybe they talked about him because he was another rich man back in Carnegie’s day. The biggest conflict for Carnegie was between the man he wanted to see himself and the man business reality demanded he be. He was constantly contradicting himself, but he didn’t seem to mind that much. He seemed like a very hard worker, going as far as continuing to work even though it would make him physically sick when he was younger. He was a smart man though, that being represented with his business but also the trick he did with his nephew to get a letter back before his mom. It is crazy to think that he offered 20 million dollars back in 1898 to purchase the Philippines to set them free. I am a little interested to find about the rest of the entrepreneurs.

  24. Trevor Luchsinger

    This book is kinda boring also but one thing that is very important to each one of the innovators i have read already is money. They are all about it. Andrew Carnegie was a very interesting read. He started from dirt and ended up being super rich with the steel industry. Just simply amazing how that can happen to someone that wants it that bad.

  25. The third part “Our own times” illustrates Sam Walton’s and Robert Noyce’s way to becoming successful entrepreneurs in the last half of the 20th century. First, Tedlow shows Sam Walton and the story of his discount store Wal-Mart. Walton started Wal-Mart with one store 1962 in Arkansas. Tedlow explains how and why Wal-Mart became the largest retailer in the world. Walton’s secret was an innovative data processing technology, scale effects, and orientation towards customer needs. Furthermore, Tedlow points out Walton’s strong personality, his desire and his extreme will to win. In contrast, Robert Noyce was an outstanding engineer who developed integrated computer chips. He is one of the most important inventors in the semiconductor business and co-founder of Intel. Tedlow mentions Noyce’s unique way of leadership based on casual working atmosphere which forms the typical working climate of other high tech businesses that developed in the Silicon Valley.

  26. Jacob Brown

    (march post) I have read through Charles Revson, and now working on Sam Walton. I found it interesting that while reading about Charles Revson, I noticed that he was a mean and sometimes violent person. It is amazing that he was able to be so successful when he was portrayed as being so mean. Even everyone else that talked about him in the book said he was a mean person. Sam Walton was a poor person and the way he came across money to start his Ben Franklin store was his father in law. I found it interesting that with out him marrying the girl he did, he may not have been able to start his own business.

  27. Nikki W

    Thus far, I’m enjoying the book. I’ve read about Carnegie and am finishing up on the life of Ford.

    I think that Tedlow takes too long to get his point across. It seems like I’ve been reading about Henry Ford forever. Don’t get me wrong, he makes some good points but he also gives you way too much information. I don’t think it’s that beneficial to know every single aspect about someone’s family and then even more about individual members. I want to know how the family affects them as an entrepreneur but not personal information that’s irrelevant.

    So far, the life of George Eastman has interested me the most.


  28. Adrienne Losee

    I’m still on Carnagie, but it’s very interesting. It’s intriguing to see how biographers try and interpret a person’s personal like like carnagie’s family life and relationships to his parents. I thought it was very surprising for a biographer to interpret Carnagie as being ashamed of his father. I understand seeing him as a failure but I think it’s hard for someone to be ashamed of a loving father who has trouble adjusting to a new world. i just thought it was a BIG assumption to make.

  29. Edward T Habermeyer

    (march post) I too am finishing Sam Walton. I agree with Nikki that the story of Henry Ford is very long and almost became boring to read but i actually think that you can learn a lot about a person from understanding their family. I agree thatwe hear a lot about him. I have read many articles on Ford so I already knew a lot but he is definitely one of the greats and deserves his place in this book. I am thimking of getting into the automotive industry so it is always interesting to see how he came up with his first ideas. I think the key was that he was not affraid to put the time in to make his idea a sucess. I also thought it was really cool that he only offered his model T in what ever color the customer wanted, as long as it was black. this goes against everything we think now, but very cool that it worked for him. On the other hand you have Sam walton who built his empire totaooly by giving the customer what they wanted. With such an array of success stories, I see that there are many strategies to be successful.

  30. Nick Buda

    I just got done reading the section on Henry Ford, and I was shocked to say the least.

    Henry Ford was a miserable man, who pushed away everyone close to him, and even drove his own son to commit suicide.

    He was an outspoken hater of Jews and accepted the highest medal possible from Hitler’s Nazi Party, and is the only favorable American mentioned in Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

    He was however brilliant in the fact that he produced the model T, the first streamlined automobile for the common American man. He was the first employer to introduce the $5 day, and was seen as an average American’s best friend. He knew better than anyone how to make a great car cheaply and efficently, to produce it for the masses and that is exactly what he did.

    Henry Ford will go down in history as one of the world’s greatest business leaders, and the man who changed the way the world travels forever.

  31. Heather S

    I just finished reading about Henry Ford. It is hard to believe that a majority of Americans believed an automobile would never be more than an expensive play thing for the rich. I agree with Nick when he says that Ford was a miserable man, but in the same breath, you can say that he did more for the people of the US than one can really imagine. The assembly line and obviously the automobile have made possibly the greatest impact on America than any other product or service has in history. Henry Ford practically made the city of Detroit. I did find it interesting and comical that when Ford passed away, his body was transported in a Packard, not a Model T.

  32. Bobbie Adams

    I am beginning to not like how Tedlow writes this book. He just quotes other books that have written about the person and says what he likes or dislikes about the quote. It is getting annoying. This book is okay; I wish it could be more interesting. It just talks about how successful these people got, but I guess you can’t really find out much information about the person when they lived a long time ago. It is interesting learning about these businesses, because I would not ever research it on my own, but I wish the book could spice it up with more of their personal lives, even though the first two people were weirdly obsessed with their mothers and didn’t have a personal life until they were older if any. The moms seemed really mean, Eastman’s mom was ungrateful and said she was too late to enjoy the money he made. I am excited to be done with the book.

  33. billwickes0420

    I also agree with Bobbie about not liking Tedlow’s writing style. However, I think that she is wrong when she states that the book is just about how they got rich and famous. Tedlow goes on and on for pages about the background information of each person so one can get an idea how they became famous and what critical factors in their personal life made them the way they were in their time. Personally, I think he could rewrite the book in about half the pages if he’d not go into such dept in their personal lives.

    Right now, I just finished reading about Charles Revson. I never even knew the name, let alone thought that a man was behind Revlon. His unbalanced personality kind of fit the way he made his dynasty. He built his company and at the same time he isolated himself from everyone around him. And the irony was that even though he made himself so repulsive in his quest to succeed, he was selling the exact opposite – beauty.

  34. Matt D

    I liked reading about when Andrew Carnegie denied to invest further money in Tom Scott’s Texas-Pacific railroad. He knew it was a bad investment and I thought it was interesting that Scott was the one who got Carnegie involved in investing in the first place. Something I will keep in mind in the future is a quote or a phrase from this part of the book:

    “Luck is a luxury, not the basis for a business.”

    That’s something that Carnegie knew and understood and Tom relied too much on loans and he became desperate for help. It was an unrealistic idea at that point in time, which was the downfall of his business career.

  35. Jacob Brown

    (April Post) I got done with the book by reading about Sam Walton and Robert Noyce. They each had their own visions. Waltons vision was to save customers money when they go to his store. He could price his items low because of buying in bulk. Noyce had a vision to make integrated circuits smaller and did so by making them out of silicon. I thought it was interesting that Walton would think of buying in bulk and selling items at low prices. It was also interesting how Noyce kept getting his circuits smaller and smaller.

  36. Jacob Brown...

    (April Post) I got done with the book by reading about Walton and Robert Noyce. They each had their own visions. Waltons vision was to save customers money when they go to his store. He could price his items low because of buying in bulk. Noyce had a vision to make integrated circuits smaller and did so by making them out of silicon. I thought it was interesting that Walton would think of buying in bulk and selling items at low prices. It was also interesting how Noyce kept getting his circuits smaller and smaller.

  37. Trevor Luchsinger

    i really like this book, it was a little lengthy but it was worth it. I enjoyed reading about all seven of the entrepreneurs. but i was mainly entriged by Henry Ford because i am very familiar with his name and company, so i was very interested in how he started and continued throughout… it is amazing how their entrepreneurs started with practically nothing and ended very rich.

  38. Matt D

    This post is a little late but I wanted to comment on Henry Ford’s philosophy of making a vehicle available to everyone, not just to the rich. By decreasing the price of his vehicles, he was able to sell much more. If a business person can produce mass quantities at an affordable price, I think that is a wise business strategy, and he obviously became a very rich and popular man because of it.

  39. Phillip

    The forte of Tedlow’s book “Giant of Enterprise” lies in the way the author presents his main characters.
    On the one hand, it is interesting to gain insights into their personalities by reading about family relationships, friendships, personal characteristics and their weaknesses.On the other hand, these background information about the entrepreneurs are too length. Tedlow analyzes the faults of the entrepreneurs as well as their effective decision making processes. He shows links between the personality traits and the way his giants acted and achieved success. The book contains seven interesting stories about outstanding business leaders from whom I have only known four before. I was a kind of surprised that Tedlow did not choose John D. Rockefeller as one of his giants. Rockefeller who is worldwide known for his philanthropy and that he revolutionized the petroleum industry. Furthermore, I learned a lot about the American society and industrial history. The seven story design made it easier for me to read the book.

  40. Frank Hebert

    I recently finished reading Giants of Enterprise, and thought it was a good book. I found it interesting that Sam Walton didn’t start Wal-Mart until after he had already had success in a franchise business.

  41. Brad Noack

    After completing the book Giants of Enterprise, I would like to note that it was very interesting and informative. As far as my personal opinions, I think that Tedlow included a great deal of invaluable information regarding family lives of the entrepreneurs. It also seemed as if some things in the book are extremely repetitive and are stressed time and time again. The book is long, much to my disliking, and could be revamped into a shorter version that could focus more on the business perspective. Either way, it is a good book even if there was alot of information that I found to be irrelevant.

    On a postivie note, I really enjoyed reading about two entrepreneurs in particular. Henry Ford and his revolutions to the auto industry was something that I found enjoyable to read about. He truly took into account what the public desparately needed. I also enjoyed reading about Sam Walton seeing as how WalMart is the giant that it is today. I found his life and accomplishments an inspiration.

  42. Heather S

    By reading Giants of Enterprise, I learned about some of the greatest entrepreneurs in America. I found most of the stories to be quite interesting, but very, very long. Tedlow gave unnecessary information about each of the men in the book and lost my attention. I found the stories of Eastman and Walton to be the most interesting. Walton was a very modest man, who cared for his employees and his customers. Discounting was is main objective, even though it is not glamorous. He bought in bulk and sold cheap. I think that Wal-Mart has changed since Walton’s passing.

  43. Nick Stoysich

    Giants of Enterprise was was very informative about all the different entreprenuers and how they achieved success. I thought Tedlow discusses the family issues too much without ever connecting how it relates to their success. I think all of the different entreprenuers in the book really wanted to make the life of the average american better. Many of them could have charged even higher for their products but did not because they wanted their product to be in every american home.

  44. Edward T Habermeyer

    This book has definitely opened my eyes to a few keys to sucecss. It really makes you see that if you are ambitious, you can come to riches even if you don’t start out that way. I have to agree that the book could have been much shorter and some family issues were overanalyzed. We all come from different situations and have to battle our own demons, I don’t see it as fair to portray these without rebuttle from the accused. Overall i see that these were motivated men, who did’t get comfortable at average or just above agerave. I like that and think it is the key to sucess. It is not a guarentee but definitely a requirement. It would have been cool to show someone who was drive and smart but did not suceede, just to show the reality of striking it out on your own. But overall the book was worth the read.

  45. Nikki W

    I think this book brings out three great points- leadership, dedication and passion. Tedlow is sure show all three of these characteristics in the majority of his analysis of the seven entrepreneurs he hi-lights in “Giants”.

    Although I think Tedlow showed these three characteristics very well, I also think he delved way too deep into the psychological background/issues of the entrepreneurs.

    However, it do so more with others, at times I felt it was a little much. For example, when he talked about Carnegie’s strides toward world peace and the reason “why” Eastman committed suicide. I’m not sure why learning how they wanted to world to be or a suicide was committed has anything to do with learning about a business and what drove their success.

  46. Adrienne Losee

    I guess I never really thought about how Sam Walton developed the discounting concept that founded Wal-Mart and so many other retail stores. His business strategy of making profit based on volume rather than margin was very innovative and changed the retail-world. It also made his company the largest retailer in the world. it’s so simple, but brillant at the same time….

  47. Matt D

    I also liked reading about Sam Walton, mainly because he built his empire closer to our time and that all of us are familiar with, but also as Adrienne mentioned.

    I was interested to read about how Walton’s lease was not renewed. The same sort of thing happened with Eastman when he was rejected the promotion and went on to do better things. When Walton came back to Newport, he had to have some thoughts of revenge on his mind. It’s amazing the setbacks that some people face and are able to bounce back with a bigger impact they had in the business than before.

  48. Mike S.

    I thoght one of the most interesting parts of the book was the story of Andrew Carnegie. This is a guy that knows what he is doing. I think that of all the entrepreneurs in the book that he is definitely the one with the best vision of the future. He knew where the U.S. was economically and knew where it was going. He built his empire on steel because he knew it was going to be the future of construction. He then knew when to get out, he sold his business with a personal net gain of $300 million, to become the richest person in the world. That’s impressive. I think it would be hard to jump right out of a business that I have spent soo much time and effort into, just for a big payout, but I guess that’s what we’re all after, right?

  49. Mike S.

    One other thing I wanted to talk about was the great Sam Walton. I worked at Wal-Mart for a number of year and they still to this day promote the values that he enstilled in his company years ago. I think that he was a great man and that his compassion for his employees is going to go unmatched. It is rare to see someone of such a high status and value in life having this rare attitute that HE can learn from US (workers). I think that it was, and is, and excellent attitude to have and god rest his soul.

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