Business Strategy: I Cede the Floor to Jeff and Warren!

I was supposed to be at a convention this week but stayed home to handle a challenge that arose. So, I found myself with a pretty blank calendar. My initial anxiety turned to joy when I spent a good deal of time reading. I finished Jim Comey’s book and am anxious to see how that whole thing plays out. On the business front, I wanted to share two suggestions.

To prepare for an upcoming meeting with people who sell product through Amazon, I was rereading Jeff Bezos’ Annual Letter to Shareholders and realized I needed to share it. Click the link now and then come back here for more.

Pretty good, huh?! I once wrote a blog critical of Bezos early in his Amazon tenure because I didn’t think the company would make money. As a percentage of revenue, its profits still stink, but what a business model he has built! (Truth in advertising: I bought a few shares a while back.)

I also once wrote a blog titled “The Top 10 Business Mistakes I’ve Made”, in which I admitted to owning several Berkshire Hathaway Class A shares and selling them in 1995 because Warren Buffett was “old.” What a dumbass! (Sorry kids, your inheritance is a lot less attractive than it should be!)

In spite of that mistake, I continue to read Warren Buffett’s Annual Letter to Shareholders yearly. This is a bit more hardcore business than Bezos’ letter but written with humor, simplicity and brilliance. I mean, who writes about M&A activity like this?

“… the CEO job self-selects for ‘can-do’ types. If Wall Street analysts or board members urge that brand of CEO to consider possible acquisitions, it’s a bit like telling your ripening teenager to be sure to have a normal sex life.”

If you can’t pick out 10 or 15 business (and life) lessons in his letter, you’re not paying attention!

Back to my own content next week.

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  • Louis Cicio

    8:08 pm May 5, 2018

    Reading Buffett’s annual letter is great advice. Today I also listened to most of the 2 hours of Warren and Charlie’s shareholders question and answer segment. It even more educational and entertaining to hear their business and life view.

    • Todd Ordal

      8:10 pm May 5, 2018

      Thanks, Lou. Smart guys!