Business lessons and insights from billionaires and tycoons.
Canadian tycoon Paul Desmarai of Power Corporation of Canada died on October 8, 2013
Paul Desmarai (January 4, 1927 – October 8, 2013) was a high profile tycoon and empire-builder in Canada for many decades. According to Forbes, he was the 4th wealthiest person in Canada and the 235th wealthiest in the world with an estimated net worth of $4.4 billion. Demarai was born into a family with business interests in the Sudbury, Quebec region. This was a tough blue-collar nickle mining area similar to the Apalachian coal mining region in the USA back in the 1950s.
How Conrad Hilton Built His Empire
This is well worth the 45 minute minute time investment because Conrad Hilton not only built a great hotel empire but lost it all a number of times over the decades. He always bounced back when lesser men were crushed. You can read about him at his Wikipedia page.
Click to watch.
Just stumbled across a book review by one of my favorite business writers, Michael Lewis, on the Warren Buffett biography: The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder. If you don’t have the time for a 960 page tome, check out the review. It makes for an interesting read.
Hell on Wheels Season 3 Begins
The only television tycoon I can think of off hand is Colm Meaney’s Thomas “Doc” Durant in Hell on Wheels. Durant was in charge of building the eastern half of the first transcontinental railroad right after the Civil War ended.
As always, Colm does a marvelous job in this role. It’s rated 8.1 over at IMDB.
If you haven’t seen the show do give it a try if you like westerns. It’s packed with likeable characters, scoundrels, downright villains and offers a pretty unvarnished view of the period.
Here are a few additional articles on Marcus Lemonis
From the NY Times: A Savior Taking the Reins
On ‘The Profit,’ Marcus Lemonis Rescues Small Businesses
What Gordon Ramsay is to floundering restaurants, what Tabatha Coffey is to hair salons on the fritz — that’s what Marcus Lemonis aspires to be for any number of small businesses. Mr. Lemonis is the chairman and chief executive of Camping World, but also a jack-of-all-enterprises, spotting and stomping out inefficiencies in pursuit of profit.
Profit that Mr. Lemonis shares, naturally. “The Profit” is an extension of reality television’s long-running charitable impulse, but like the cheery moguls on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Mr. Lemonis has skin in the game. He writes checks and takes temporary control, makes significant changes, then hopes his new partners can make him money.
His practices are politely predatory, feasting on small businesses that don’t have the resources to advance or to save themselves from eventual collapse. In the first two episodes, there’s an additional twist: the companies are run by the founders’ children, who are finding it hard to continue their parents’ legacies. These are enterprises ripe for takeover, and owners looking to fill an authority vacuum. (source)