Monday, April 22, 2013

Good Companies and Bad Companies, Part 1

After reading Atlas Shrugged I wondered if there are great companies run by near-heroic men in real life too.  In the so called Guilded Age of America we had great businesses founded and run by men like John Rockefeller, Dale Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Henry Ford, etc.  These companies were great successes while they provided the goods and services that people wanted to buy.  Cars became available to the masses thanks to Ford's assembly line.  The continent was crossed on Vanderbilt trains.  All that, and more, was powered by oil from Rockefeller's wells and made from Carnegie's steel.

Who are the great industrialists of today?  What are the great companies of today?

Bill Gates and Microsoft may qualify.  So might Steve Jobs and Apple.  Jeff Bezos and, too.

I could point to a few more but the problem with many of the largest companies today is that they get an awful lot of laws, tariffs, and restrictions from their Washington lobbying efforts.  Too many companies today are large becasue of their money in Washington.  Would there have been a restrictive incandescent light bulb law had GE not had a good relationship with the federal government and an alternative light bulb that no one would buy if not for government laws restricting the sale of their competitors.  (And some misinformation about CFLs being better for the environment.  And misinformation about CFLs actually being able to light up a room.)

I'm sure that the great industrialists of the past were flawed, but they were still great.

Two things inspired me to write this post.  First was that I recently read an article about Jim Koch the founder of the company that makes Sam Adams beer.  With only 1% of the American beer market he's no Rockefeller, but I have neither read nor heard anything about him or his company that I disliked.

The Boston Beer Company is currently my favorite company in the word.  Although I will admit to being heavily influenced by my fondness for its product.  [Excepting Guinness] I wonder why those of you who drink beer drink anything else.

My other inspiration for writing this post was my interest in a certain video game.  Long ago I spent time playing several Sim City games.  I had heard that there was a new one out, and so I checked it out.

And becasue of the mean things that I say about it, I don't want to include the name of its stupid new manufacturer, or its stupid CEO, in the same post as the other companies that I have listed in this post.

To be a few hours.


  1. White Feminist Woman at Georgetown University working in the admissions department openly admitted that she REJECTED white men's applications simply because they were WHITE MEN.

    Brief: A female advisor in the admissions department at Georgetown University has been caught openly admitting that she committed the CRIME of discrimination based on people's race and gender in the application process.

    This has the potential to create a large scale lawsuit against Georgetown University, and with the momentum building at the rate it is building, seems very likely that will be the outcome.

    Below are the main links to all of the information regarding this news story and case.

  2. Will Wright's a pretty cool dude.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I'll keep an eye out for more stories about him.

  3. Andy Beal is a great example of a self made billionaire.

    1. I also happen to agree with Andy Beal politically. He predicted the bubble 2007 that would've crushed his bank. And he challenged the top poker players in the world to matches and won the highest amount on record in a single day period.