Author Topic: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey  (Read 8882 times)

ajc

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Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story

I picked this up on Amazon a few weeks back for about 99p.

Initially I was somewhat concerned by how good the quality of writing was going to be given that he'd spent his life building Wal-Mart not producing literature, but if anything the book turned out to be a total page-turner (nothing fancy, just an honest and wide-ranging account of his life and business experiences).

Some of the things that really stood out were his almost incomparable work ethic as well as his drive to be the low-cost provider of as broad a product offering as possible. I think it really gives some interesting insights into his character and for all his professional ambition he seriously came off as being nothing more than just a genuine, family guy who enjoyed his hunting and tennis and happened to be real proud of what he and his team had eventually been able to accomplish for their customers.
On top of that, his humility was clear as were his focus on fun and his tendency to sometimes be extremely bull-headed (mostly for the better, occasionally not).

Also gives some interesting behind-the-scenes stories about the bigger developments throughout his time in the industry relating to procurement, distribution, tech implementation, etc and how those things were managed and utilitized at Wal-Mart (which, for the few who aren't aware, was usually the standard-setter at the time).

Book was name-checked by Buffett at some point I think. Dirt cheap & highly recommended.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 02:38:57 PM by Parsad »


west

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 12:38:41 PM »
I thought it was great and recommend it as well.  I'm pretty sure it was co-authored by a mass-market, easy-to-read author guy as well so, yeah, very easy and quick to read.

Derailing the thread a little bit, I read it as part of the readings for the Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzsky, probably the best book I've ever read for understanding how different businesses work.  One of the "assignments" in the book is to read Made in America and Pour Your Heart into It (the Starbucks book) at the same time and look for similarities in their business models, business strategies, and how the two companies (Wal-Mart and Starbucks) first got off the ground.  Suffice it to say, your mind will be blown if you actually do the assignment in full.  The two companies really are cut from the same cloth.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2013, 12:40:25 PM by west »

fareastwarriors

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 12:54:05 PM »
I thought it was great and recommend it as well.  I'm pretty sure it was co-authored by a mass-market, easy-to-read author guy as well so, yeah, very easy and quick to read.

Derailing the thread a little bit, I read it as part of the readings for the Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzsky, probably the best book I've ever read for understanding how different businesses work.  One of the "assignments" in the book is to read Made in America and Pour Your Heart into It (the Starbucks book) at the same time and look for similarities in their business models, business strategies, and how the two companies (Wal-Mart and Starbucks) first got off the ground.  Suffice it to say, your mind will be blown if you actually do the assignment in full.  The two companies really are cut from the same cloth.


Now you are making me want to buy all 3 books mentioned. My library is already stuffed.

west

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 01:01:37 PM »
I thought it was great and recommend it as well.  I'm pretty sure it was co-authored by a mass-market, easy-to-read author guy as well so, yeah, very easy and quick to read.

Derailing the thread a little bit, I read it as part of the readings for the Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzsky, probably the best book I've ever read for understanding how different businesses work.  One of the "assignments" in the book is to read Made in America and Pour Your Heart into It (the Starbucks book) at the same time and look for similarities in their business models, business strategies, and how the two companies (Wal-Mart and Starbucks) first got off the ground.  Suffice it to say, your mind will be blown if you actually do the assignment in full.  The two companies really are cut from the same cloth.


Now you are making me want to buy all 3 books mentioned. My library is already stuffed.

Don't buy The Art of Profitability!  It's a rabbit hole of (required, but all awesome) books to read!

Seriously tho, it's an amazing book.  I have no idea why no one knows about it.

PlanMaestro

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2013, 01:26:13 PM »
Don't buy The Art of Profitability!  It's a rabbit hole of (required, but all awesome) books to read!

Seriously tho, it's an amazing book.  I have no idea why no one knows about it.

I second that.

http://variantperceptions.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/the-art-of-profitability/

ajc

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2013, 01:40:24 PM »
I thought it was great and recommend it as well.  I'm pretty sure it was co-authored by a mass-market, easy-to-read author guy as well so, yeah, very easy and quick to read.

Derailing the thread a little bit, I read it as part of the readings for the Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzsky, probably the best book I've ever read for understanding how different businesses work.  One of the "assignments" in the book is to read Made in America and Pour Your Heart into It (the Starbucks book) at the same time and look for similarities in their business models, business strategies, and how the two companies (Wal-Mart and Starbucks) first got off the ground.  Suffice it to say, your mind will be blown if you actually do the assignment in full.  The two companies really are cut from the same cloth.


Now you are making me want to buy all 3 books mentioned. My library is already stuffed.

Same here. Damn you west - I thank you, but I hate you.
Seriously though, I have visions of an early death under a ceiling-high avalanche of as-yet unread books gleaned from the various recommendations on this forum.

Also, as an aside, it seems the co-author was the former editor-in-chief at Time Inc and as you mentioned he did a really awesome job of formatting and editing the material so that Sam's character and story was able to genuinely hit home. So, props where they're due on that. 

west

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2013, 01:49:49 PM »
I thought it was great and recommend it as well.  I'm pretty sure it was co-authored by a mass-market, easy-to-read author guy as well so, yeah, very easy and quick to read.

Derailing the thread a little bit, I read it as part of the readings for the Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzsky, probably the best book I've ever read for understanding how different businesses work.  One of the "assignments" in the book is to read Made in America and Pour Your Heart into It (the Starbucks book) at the same time and look for similarities in their business models, business strategies, and how the two companies (Wal-Mart and Starbucks) first got off the ground.  Suffice it to say, your mind will be blown if you actually do the assignment in full.  The two companies really are cut from the same cloth.


Now you are making me want to buy all 3 books mentioned. My library is already stuffed.

Same here. Damn you west - I thank you, but I hate you.
Seriously though, I have visions of an early death under a ceiling-high avalanche of as-yet unread books gleaned from the various recommendations on this forum.

You have that fear too!  I like to joke, when people are shocked when they see my piles of books and other reading materials, that one day, when I least expect it, all those dead trees are going to topple and get their revenge! :D

ajc

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2013, 03:05:41 PM »
You have that fear too!  I like to joke, when people are shocked when they see my piles of books and other reading materials, that one day, when I least expect it, all those dead trees are going to topple and get their revenge! :D

Ha. It seems pulling a Carnegie in early life via outright book donation is starting to look more and more like the intelligent course of action.
Forget philanthropic recognition, I'll just be trying to avoid ending up 6 feet under over here!

rukawa

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 08:59:36 AM »
One big thing I got from the Art of Profitability was the whole idea of mental math and applying Fermi problem type solutions to business models. The basic idea is back of the envelope type calculation where you get an order of magnitude estimate but not precise numbers. Its a pretty good exercise to do with any business to estimate how much money they should be making.

Liberty

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Re: Sam Walton: Made In America, My Story - Sam Walton with John Huey
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2013, 06:39:36 AM »
Started reading the Walton book, thanks for the recommendation.
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