Hmm. Historically I have a soft spot for the “Industrial Barons”. John D. Rockefeller being the prime candidate.
Dude started from dirt, and then ended up amassing 300 Billion dollars of Inflation adjusted money today. Not even shares in liquid cash tradable Bonds. They were product of the the Industrial Revolution and had the good ole’ if you aren’t with me you are against me mindset to Business. They lead relatively normal lives. As in even if you had all the money in the world in 1860, the best you could do with it is buy houses, farmland and horses and sit in heat without electricity hoping you don’t catch Tuberculosis.
This is also brought simplicity to their style of Business. They asked basically the same variations of these 3 questions :
- I Hate competition, how can I run them out of Business ?
- How can I vertically and horizontally own the entire supply chain ?
- I Make Oil, How can I make more Oil ?
There is also a very interesting stranger than fiction story about JDR, is that he was a devout Chistian and never went anywhere without his personal copy of the bible ( That man swept the floor of his Church until he died at 97) . So while he had to visit Cornelius Vanderbilt in a meeting, he reached the station, but realized he had forgot his Bible, decided to postpone the train trip and went back home. This very train ended up falling in a crashing bridge and everyone onboard the train died. No survivors. This news reached him and he never really recovered from this incident. He started believing that God had saved him for a reason and anyone who stands against him or Standard Oil stands against God himself. This led him to corner 90% of the world’s oil reserve at that time.
One of my favourite Biographies ever is also about him , sharing the link if someone wants to check it out :
The book is loooong, clocks around 800 pages without citations. There should surely be some Summary notes as well, if anyone is interested they can search for them.