Billionaires thrive on finding efficiencies in cash generating assets. Andrew Carnegie extracted margins by capitalizing on economies of scale in the age of steel. His cash management and margins were the cushion that enabled him to weather the American Civil War, 19th century banking collapse and crises in the early industrialization of
America. Modern American cities, built on steel, are his legacy.
Carnegie’s family moved to America from Scotland when he was 12years old, and Carnegie began working at a local cotton mill in Slabtown, Pittsburgh. Graduating to a messenger boy at the Pittsburgh Telegraph Office, Carnegie came across James Anderson,who was setting up free libraries for “working boys”. Having had no formal education, when Carnegie entered his first ‘library’ of 400 books, he said, “The windows were opened in the walls of my dungeon through which the light of knowledge streamed in.” Carnegie credits Anderson for his success, saying, “To him I owe a taste for literature which I would not exchange for all the millions that were ever amassed by man.”
Based in Hong Kong, Li Ka-Shing is the wealthiest person in Asia, the richest Chinese and the ninth richest man in the world. Like Buffett, Li has accumulated ownership of companies under a listed holding company. His holding company, Cheung Kong Holdings, owns businesses in real estate, construction, banking, telecoms, media, retail, hotels, power, steel, ports and shipping.
The long lost Donald Trump has been found. Now you can catch it here for free.
The Secrets of George Westinghouse's Success
George Westinghouse is the subject of this feature-length documentary about his life and times, his companies, legacy, personality, partnership with Nikola Tesla, and conflict with Thomas Edison. George Westinghouse is considered America’s greatest industrialist and the only man who would go up against Thomas Edison, and win.
His victory over Edison during the Battle of the Currents set the stage for the entire future of electric power. The Westinghouse air brake is considered one of the most important inventions in history. Automobile shock absorbers, railroad signaling and the modern day weekend all owe their existence to the man who Andrew Carnegie called, “A genius who can’t be downed.” Westinghouse may be most famous for the massive companies that he created, but the man called “Uncle George” was a reserved creative giant who went out of his way to treat his workforce with dignity and respect. He was an honest millionaire in the days of robber barons, an optimist in the days of skeptics, and a generous CEO from whom today’s executives can learn.
Were the Robber Barons evil? Here's a counter-argument. By the way, although technically Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan etc. weren't billionaires back in the 19th century they were if you adjust for inflation. Then Bill Gates and Warren Buffett begin to look like their poor cousins.