This is the story of how one little appliance store in rural Utah grew to become a behemoth chain furniture outlet in the western United States. From its humble beginning as a one-man operation, it slowly developed into a corporation with locations in several states with thousands of employees. As the title indicates, it would eventually catch the attention of the “Sage of Omaha” and become one of many successful investments made by Berkshire Hathaway.
I was surprised with the simple way this story is told. It generally follows a chronological storyline with a few flashbacks and insights as they pertain to the subject matter. Each chapter focuses on a different lesson learned by the people running the company — first by R.C. Willey himself, and then by Bill and Sheldon Child, who take over the business in the 1950s. Those lessons range in scope from simple frugality to building relationships and corporate expansion. There is no hard number-crunching or analysis of all potential factors affecting a particular decision. Rather, prudent and thoughtful decision-making seem to be key takeaways from the book, as well as the fact that a healthy dose of luck makes a difference in the outcomes of many business decisions. This book in a not an in-depth case study. It seeks to simply outline how a few key people can find success by investing time and effort while remaining true to principles of integrity and fairness.
Rated: None. There is no language, sex or violence.