Readers respond to “Warren Buffet’s Five Secrets of Success,” published July 6 2006, that examined how the world’s second-richest man does business.
Garfinkel’s piece on Warren Buffett’s secrets of success was excellent. I’d like to add a couple of take-away points. Dave Thomas of Wendy’s said in IMPRIMIS magazine about a decade ago, and I paraphrase from memory, “It doesn’t do one much good to be the richest man in the cemetery.” My own pithy aphorism is, “He who dies with the most toys, is dead.” Lastly, whether or not one is religious, I share three hard sayings of Jesus: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25). “You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt 6:24; Luke 16:13). “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations” (Luke 16:9). I think Messrs. Gates and Buffett are wise to distribute their wealth far and wide and put it to effective use. They stand a chance of beating the odds.
(To David Garfinkel)
Hi, David: I know Denny and am impressed by anyone he chose to do a column, and yours was, I thought, excellent. The late David Ogilvy was first to tell me about Mr. Buffett—and the one thing you never mentioned is that he (Buffett) is a wonderful writer; his annual reports are collectors’ items. More strength to your quill (I am stuck in the 18th century). Best wishes!
A reader responded to “Before Changing Your Business Model, Consult a Direct Marketer” published June 29, 2006, that discussed how Zales changed its business model without testing. I quoted a business rule by direct marketing guru Axel Andersson and it generated some confusion. Here’s an exchange between Phil Langsdorf and DH.