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made in america

made in america

I was drawn to this one via Jeff’s apocryphal bio by Brad Stone

Apparently Sam Walton’s biography and the Walmart story were a big inspiration to Jeff while building Amazon and I wanted to find out why

- Looking for book recommendations in the very ones I read has proven very rewarding since finding out about Andy Grove’s ‘high output management’ in the ‘hard thing about hard things’, speaking of which, how is it possible that they still haven’t done paperback of Ben’s book?! How much more money does he need? -

What really got me to look into ‘Made in America’ was a passage in Jeff’s bio describing how Sam Walton’s, apparently, spoke about a young customer obsessed retailing prophet that was going to take over his empire in his own very autobiography!

Story goes that after reading that paragraph Jeff rushed to the Walton’s house, book in hand, and said: ‘the kid you describe in here, it’s me!’

I mean, wouldn’t you want to read the prophecy yourself? And even if Sam didn’t think Jeff was that big of a deal this book and its story were supposedly instrumental to building Amazon

What did Walton know that was so inspiring?

Now let me start with the bad news, I think Brad Stone took some creative liberties

I was filled with anticipation to find the line about the prophet and say: ah! I knew you where here, Brad and Jeff sent me to read you. But nothing, page after page the anticipation faded away. No mention of the kid conspiring to undermine the Walton’s empire

Just a short paragraph about the need of any successful business, including Walmart, to stay competitive or be disrupted. Nothing as juicy as promised :( sad

Regardless, this one still sat on my shelf for almost two years as I couldn’t find the audiobook version - only audio cassettes can you believe? - and I wasn’t really eager to commit to the 300 or so pages written by a man that I then thought I didn’t care for much

I love to be proven wrong

Sam’s book is crazy good, in a way similar to ‘shoe dog’ - boy that book made me cry - I’m a sucker for business stories that go from zero to IPO

The Walton message is rich of wisdom:

  • make the customer happy

  • be frugal, with money time and any other resources

  • keep going at it, hard

  • work 6 days a week

  • listen to every employee

👋🏼fabri here, former founder and consultant
working with startups, helping them grow

early stage brand

early stage brand

growth recipe

growth recipe