Hello my fellow wordsmiths and page turners,
Having just left the ‘corporate’ world myself. Although not to the same extent as the stories covered in these pages. I was interested in looking into this one. I have heard, as I believe everyone else has, that ‘Business Adventures’ was a favorite book of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, and although this book is outdated, I was interested to see what it has to offer.
Business Adventures contains a number of somewhat humorous and entertaining dialogues, the emphasis on these make it an overall entertaining read. The Author tends to take a human interest angle and describes a number of key people. This gives you a real insight into their personality and how the world was when these stories took place. The writer’s style is more akin to that of a Sherlock Holmes novel, or an old style of journalism rather than a cold black and white approach where they just hit you with hard facts until coming to a conclusion. This adds considerable richness and depth to each of the ‘adventures’ covered in this book.
That being said, the author often leaves it for the reader to read between the lines and draw their own conclusions, as no definitive conclusions are ever really drawn in some cases. It’s possible that this was done in order sidestep a number of legality issues, or perhaps that’s just the kind of style they were going for assuming the reader is intelligent enough to come to the correct conclusion on their own. However despite this, John Brooks does describe all 12 ‘Adventures’ in quite some detail.
These stories include:
- A Story covering the mini stock market crash of 28/05/1962
- The story of the failure of the FORD Edsel
- History of the US Income Tax
- An Insider Trading case of Texas Gulf discovering an ore mine in Canada
- Story of how Xerox invented photocopying
- How Ira Haupt & Co are likely going to go bankrupt because of forged collateral by one of its clients
- An insight into the challenges of corporate communication
- A Story surrounding Clarence Saunders, founder of Piggly Wiggly stores, tried to corner short sellers but failed since exchange halted trading and extended call for stock by five days
- A story about an ex high profiled individual running a business and the importance of keeping a distance from it in order to remain strategic/objective.
- An insight into various stockholder meetings in which we get a look into how they perceive themselves.
- A story that illustrates the issue of trade secrets using the case of ‘Wohlgemut’ – an engineer who found employment at a rival company making the same product (Space suits)
- A Story Surrounding Black Friday
As I said previously a lot of these are outdated as they are stories from the 1960’s, but that doesn’t make them any less entertaining to read. I personally enjoyed the stories of Ford’s Edsel, Piggly Wiggly, Xerox, and of course Wohlgemut. (try saying that sentence without sounding drunk) If you are interested in old stories of the corporate world or wish to have a glimpse into the world of finance, this is definitely a decent start for you.
Until Next Time, Read More Books