growth strategies

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A Most Violent Year

When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump. Otherwise you end up staying in the same place your entire life … and that I can’t do.

– Abe Morales

As I have bemoaned before good business movies are almost as scarce as hen’s teeth. Now we finally get another good one for our list of Top 10 Business Movies, A Most Violent Year. This is a real gem. In it Oscar Issac plays Abel Morales an honest business man and budding tycoon building a home heating oil delivery empire in New York City.

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The Ignored Growth Strategy

When people ask which tycoons best exemplify the Tycoon Playbook approach to building a business empire, Carlos Slim always comes to mind. If you scan the annual lists of billionaires you will see that most made their money either through wheeling and dealing in assets (i.e., businesses for the most part) the way Carlos Slim did. Some used it as their primary growth strategy while others used it as a secondary one. The billionaires who made their money by focusing on building one technology company are far and few between. Unfortunately, the media is currently obsessed with the Zuckerbergs, Brins, Pages, and Bezos.

My mission is to right this sorry state of affairs and swing the limelight back to the best role models for most entrepreneurs.

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Be sure to read part 1 first!

Adventures of a Hustler: Aristotle Onassis Part 2

To be successful, keep looking tanned, live in an elegant building (even if you’re in the cellar), be seen in smart restaurants (even if you nurse one drink) and if you borrow, borrow big. – Aristotle Onassis

Understanding the Shipping Industry

The story of Onassis’ empire becomes that much more interesting, and dare I say “exciting,” if you understand its basic structure and dynamics. So lets take a look at the industry back then. To start with, there were typically two types of ships that you could own: liners and tramps. Liners carried passengers and general cargo on fixed routes and schedules. If you had a Liverpool to New York ticket you had to be there to board on time or you would miss it and have to wait for the next sailing. The Titanic is perhaps the most famous example of a liner. For this reason liners can be thought of as the “buses” of the sea.

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How Aristotle Onassis Grew His Empire

There’s no such thing as too far. You understand? You push everything as far as you can. You push and you push and you push until it starts pushing back. And then you push some goddamn more. – Al Pacino

One of the most interesting tycoons you can read about is the Gatsby-like Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis (1900- 1975). He was one of the most high profile people on the planet back in the 1960s and ‘70s. You could say that he was the Mick Jagger of the business world back then. The media covered not only his business life but his personal one as well, particularly his romantic affairs with famous actresses, models, opera divas, and a presidential widow.

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