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Как я создал Walmart

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О сети магазинов Wal-Mart и ее создателе, о вдохновении, смелости, оптимизме и тяжелом труде, позволившим компании «оседлать» мечту и стать лидером мирового бизнеса. Чрезвычайно скромный, но всегда уверенный в своих силах и возможностях, Сэм Уолтон делится своими наблюдениями, честно и открыто рассказывает о «правилах дорожного движения» в крупном бизнесе.


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О сети магазинов Wal-Mart и ее создателе, о вдохновении, смелости, оптимизме и тяжелом труде, позволившим компании «оседлать» мечту и стать лидером мирового бизнеса. Чрезвычайно скромный, но всегда уверенный в своих силах и возможностях, Сэм Уолтон делится своими наблюдениями, честно и открыто рассказывает о «правилах дорожного движения» в крупном бизнесе.

30 review for Как я создал Walmart

  1. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Peterson

    Just in case you might not realize it, the huge Walmart corporation was actually started and grown quite large by one main individual and his name was Sam Walton. This book is his personal and business story and I Highly recommended it! My 14 yr. old son and I listened to the audio version and it was fantastic! There were incredibly few places where Walton went against any libertarian principles that I could tell. And his explaining the nitty-gritty of motivating people and trying to get them to Just in case you might not realize it, the huge Walmart corporation was actually started and grown quite large by one main individual and his name was Sam Walton. This book is his personal and business story and I Highly recommended it! My 14 yr. old son and I listened to the audio version and it was fantastic! There were incredibly few places where Walton went against any libertarian principles that I could tell. And his explaining the nitty-gritty of motivating people and trying to get them to be more comfortable with and thrive under the constant change that is the marketplace was just fantastic. Of course he gives a wonderfully folksy description of the history of his with the help of many, many associates' building the great Wal-Mart corp. Lots of neat comments from his family, top Wal-Mart employees and others regularly interspersed in his story. The book was never boring and seemed quite fair. He admitted in the book to making many mistakes, and that was nice to see. He did not come across as arrogant at all, just very strong willed and having almost unbounded energy and focus on the business. The different tactics he used to motivate Wal-Mart team members, to entice customers was simply wonderful to hear... especially since my son seemed to appreciate them too. He actually looked forward to hearing more of the book as we drove to and from his school each day for a few weeks. The positive, can-do, attitude that radiates from the book is something more folks could use, including myself. I recommend this book often. My only regret is that it took me about 15-18 years from the time that my wife recommended it to me, till I actually got the audio version and listened to it. 2020-09-29 - Cleaning up/out my office, I came across my notes from when I was listening to the CDs. Here are the parts that I thought were cool or at least valuable: - His motto for his early stores: "Buy is low. Stack it high. Sell it cheap!" - He had the "personality of a promoter (ala PT Barnum) but the soul of an organizer/back office. - He was "In for the long haul" NOT for the short term. His emphasis on CHANGE, throughout the book, and that is was: - essential - positive - difficult combined with the rest of the book's background and insights make me think that this book is vastly better than the simpleton but possibly more famous "Who Moved My Cheese" book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lora

    Hmm... I honestly don't know what I think about this book. There were some things about Sam Walton and his story that I loved: his enthusiasm, his drive, his sense of humor; and yet there were other things in the book or about his character that puzzled me. For example, the Wal-Mart culture that he repeatedly paints a picture of in the book sounds pretty phenomenal-- an environment of friendliness, down-home/small-town atmosphere, and creativity-- but I can't really say I've felt that vibe from Hmm... I honestly don't know what I think about this book. There were some things about Sam Walton and his story that I loved: his enthusiasm, his drive, his sense of humor; and yet there were other things in the book or about his character that puzzled me. For example, the Wal-Mart culture that he repeatedly paints a picture of in the book sounds pretty phenomenal-- an environment of friendliness, down-home/small-town atmosphere, and creativity-- but I can't really say I've felt that vibe from my shopping experiences there. In fact, I've often felt much the opposite. But I realize this book was written in the early 90's and much could have changed since then. I also, like Mr. Walton, finished this book wondering if such a focused, career-driven life (such as he led) could be completely fulfilling and leave the desired legacy. This same question could be applied to finding the right balance in a lot of different pursuits. When is enough, enough? Regardless of these points, this book left me with an incredible admiration for what Sam Walton was able to accomplish in the retail world. The growth and productivity of Wal-Mart from the 70's to the early 90's is almost unbelievable... and yet it's true. This book also, I think, has some great tips for those looking to be successful as entrepreneurs.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dillon

    Sam Walton was definitely the O.G. of retail. As mentioned in Brad Stone's book about Amazon, there's no doubt that Jeff Bezos took a number of pages out of San Walton's playbook. I enjoyed reading about his journey, his hard work and customer-first mentality, and how Wal-Mart completely changed the face of retail. There wasn't a lot of personal detail here, it was more a biography of Wal-Mart, kind of like how Walter Isaacson's book was more a biography of Apple than of Steve Jobs. The tone of Sam Walton was definitely the O.G. of retail. As mentioned in Brad Stone's book about Amazon, there's no doubt that Jeff Bezos took a number of pages out of San Walton's playbook. I enjoyed reading about his journey, his hard work and customer-first mentality, and how Wal-Mart completely changed the face of retail. There wasn't a lot of personal detail here, it was more a biography of Wal-Mart, kind of like how Walter Isaacson's book was more a biography of Apple than of Steve Jobs. The tone of the book is informal, kind of folksy, like he's talking to you, with many bits with people who had worked with Sam Walton over the years. It fit well, I think, with what he was trying to convey, ie that Wal-Mart is an everyman's type of company. Good read, I recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Flor Espino

    Taking the book Sam Walton: Made in America off the shelf I started reading it and I was in for a surprise. Made in America is an All-American book about building a business that anyone could grow to enjoy. The thing that surprised me was that it was not at all boring because his style of writing. Being an autobiography it was a little out of my comfort zone because I am usually used to sticking with the dystopian genre. This book was nothing like any other business book that I had ever read. Sa Taking the book Sam Walton: Made in America off the shelf I started reading it and I was in for a surprise. Made in America is an All-American book about building a business that anyone could grow to enjoy. The thing that surprised me was that it was not at all boring because his style of writing. Being an autobiography it was a little out of my comfort zone because I am usually used to sticking with the dystopian genre. This book was nothing like any other business book that I had ever read. Sam Walton kept me wanting to turn the page time after time. Sam is the spitting image of the American Dream. Being born in America to selling newspaper subscriptions from a young age to being named the Richest Man in America by Forbes Magazine. He was a very good student and a talented athlete, college wasn’t a worry for him with his football scholarship. Walton from the start was a very humble man. Whenever you own a chain of stores you would imagine that you would be dressed all nice, have a nice car, and have a big house, but was more so the complete opposite. He didn’t think that just because he had money he had to show it off. One of Sam’s main bases that his company was founded on was the value of a dollar. The book goes from teaching you the value of a dollar to how to manage a company. Waltons book is a nonfiction book but more specifically an autobiography. I feel like this book is more geared toward people that either really have an interest in the history of Walmart or want to go into entrepreneurship. I started to read it for the fact that I am an avid lover of Walmart and wanted to learn about some of the history behind the whole company. Reading this book I thought that there was never a moment that I turned the page and did not learn anything. I personally think that most autobiographies should have a lesson here or there, this book does not fail to include valuable lessons. Being an autobiography Made in America is written in a traditional way which is chapters. The way that the chapters are written is more or less in chronological order. The book being written in chronological order gives the book more effect because it showed how Sam Walton made a business from the love of working in retail. A unique thing that I liked about this book is that every chapter started with either a little quote or story from someone that worked with Sam Walton whether it was his family or the first manager that he had hired. Like most books this book had an ongoing theme that I noticed which was entrepreneurship. Sam explains his whole experience of building a business in a very detailed way that is easy to follow. Overall the author, theme, style of writing, and genre all blended together to make a book that I would highly recommend. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars because it had everything I believe a book should have. Sam Walton is just one of those authors that can somehow take his life story and make it to where people want to read it with vivid language and details. He paints an image in your mind of exactly what is going on. Not only was this book a good read but it also included lessons that aren’t just relevant in entrepreneurship but in life.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tigran Mamikonian

    The book of Sam Walton, founder of Wall-Mart, is classic biography book of very successfull businessman. This book and the one written by Hovard Shults from Starbuck's are treated to be MUST READ books for all retailers so that one understand what is success and how much it usually cost... Would recommend to read this book to all business founders and owners. Here arethe ideas I really liked in the book: 1. Hands on approach to his business, down to each store, business unit - even if you are the The book of Sam Walton, founder of Wall-Mart, is classic biography book of very successfull businessman. This book and the one written by Hovard Shults from Starbuck's are treated to be MUST READ books for all retailers so that one understand what is success and how much it usually cost... Would recommend to read this book to all business founders and owners. Here arethe ideas I really liked in the book: 1. Hands on approach to his business, down to each store, business unit - even if you are the toppest manager; 2. Attitude of Sam to his subordinates and the corporate culture of support in he company, i.e. if he discovered that there is a manager in the company who is not communicative to his team, the one would be dismissed shortly... 3. Confidence of Sam in his success from the times of his childhood... As he said he couldn't even think about failure... 4.The culture of Wall-Mart assumed constant change and development... "... We are always ready to give away all achievements and start from scratch ..." 5. Wall is quoting Rockfeller - Any right is responsibility, any opportunity is liability, any ownership is debt... By this he stressed importance of debt financing in building of equity...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mario Tomic

    This is one of those book that you have to have on your bookshelf. Sam Walton is a great example of a man with very strong values and principles, despite all of the success and failures Sam never sacrificed his core values. If I had to summarize the book into top 3 lessons this is what it would look like: 1. Be passionate about learning, Sam Walton learned so much from people around him, his co-workers and from all his competition and it was one of the key elements of his success. 2. Take action f This is one of those book that you have to have on your bookshelf. Sam Walton is a great example of a man with very strong values and principles, despite all of the success and failures Sam never sacrificed his core values. If I had to summarize the book into top 3 lessons this is what it would look like: 1. Be passionate about learning, Sam Walton learned so much from people around him, his co-workers and from all his competition and it was one of the key elements of his success. 2. Take action first and a lot of things will fall into place. We always think about preparing ourselves perfectly for a situation before we take any action on it however if you look at Sam Walton's story he usually learned by taking action. 3. Be ready to experiment until it works. Most of what Walmart did in the early stages was trial and error until they got the right formula. So the lesson here is never expect things to go perfect from the first try, persist until you get it right! There's much more in the book and these are just my top 3 things. Sam Walton is a great inspiration and I consider myself fortunate to be able to get access to his book, it's really amazing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jason Navallo

    Great book! It was great to learn from the man himself on how he built one of the world's largest and most powerful corporations, from scratch! Liked it so much that I actually used it as a source in my book, Thrive: 30 Inspirational Rags-to-Riches Stories. Great book! It was great to learn from the man himself on how he built one of the world's largest and most powerful corporations, from scratch! Liked it so much that I actually used it as a source in my book, Thrive: 30 Inspirational Rags-to-Riches Stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Devin

    DNF at 65%. Sam Walton was a weird fucking man. A terrible man, of course; career billionaire who stole and profited from his workers [he even admits it in this book!], anti-union [surprise, surprise], corporatist, responsible for one of the worst atrocities of capitalism: Wal-Mart. He wants you to sympathize with him. I lost count of how many times in this book he touts the "well sure i'm a billionaire but i still am just a good ol' country boy like some of you." Lost in-between those ramblings DNF at 65%. Sam Walton was a weird fucking man. A terrible man, of course; career billionaire who stole and profited from his workers [he even admits it in this book!], anti-union [surprise, surprise], corporatist, responsible for one of the worst atrocities of capitalism: Wal-Mart. He wants you to sympathize with him. I lost count of how many times in this book he touts the "well sure i'm a billionaire but i still am just a good ol' country boy like some of you." Lost in-between those ramblings is him having owned a second home SOLELY for quail hunting, which he casually mentions like its something we can all do. He wants you to sympathize with his father, who, during the Great Depression, was a mortgage broker who would seize peoples' farms. Again, during The Great Depression. Leaving them pennilesss and with nothing. He wants you to sympathize with how he actually started his chain of convenience stores pre-Wal-Mart with a sizeable loan from his wife's father, but it's okay because he paid him back. Of course, anyone who has ever worked for poverty wages for a long time might struggle to sympathize with him. I certainly have no sympathy. He has a weird fixation on panties. In the first 100 pages, he mentions panties at least 7 times. I don't know if this was his way of trying to be humorous or provocative, but it was fucking weird. I know I mentioned this above, but he quite literally admits to having paid his workers as little as he could get away with while him and the other shareholders raked in millions from the stock market. Sam Walton: bastion of the decaying corporatist u s. Empire.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Henning

    Sam Walton is the founder of the worlds biggest company Walmart with now over 2 million employees. He basically grown up selling stuff and he knew very early in life that he wanted to work in the retail business. He involved almost the whole family in his career and earlier businesses which he already had founded before he created his great idea called Walmart. I read a good amount of biographies of successful business people and obviously there are many parallels between them both in personalit Sam Walton is the founder of the worlds biggest company Walmart with now over 2 million employees. He basically grown up selling stuff and he knew very early in life that he wanted to work in the retail business. He involved almost the whole family in his career and earlier businesses which he already had founded before he created his great idea called Walmart. I read a good amount of biographies of successful business people and obviously there are many parallels between them both in personality and business development. Sam loved what he was doing and his enthusiasm and motivation to grow more and more lead to the fast growth of his career. I also liked to read about his private and humble (obviously only for a Billionaire) life. But honestly what I didn't like was that he only scratched the surface of the topics in almost every chapter. I expected him to go a little bit more into detail when it comes to failures and hard times but instead he basically praised the whole process as if everything worked with maximum efficiency and almost without major problems. I often read biographies to learn more about how other successful people started their journey. After I finished like 40% of the book he already had founded Walmart and opened hundreds of stores (and bought an airplane). I'm missing more of the youth part and struggles here. This book is an ok read but when you want to dig deeper in the life story of Sam Walton and detailed growth Walmart you won't find the real joy here.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Utilized Accelerated Reading Technique - as taught by Tai Lopez. The story of Sam Walton, a man who could not sit still. Take aways from this autobiography: Understood the value of a dollar, grew up during the depression. Continued to be frugal through all his years. Made sure all his businesses also understood the value of a dollar. From an early age he worked multiple jobs, never stopped moving. He has an urge to win, to win at everything. Sam built Walmart by copying. He didn't just merely copy Utilized Accelerated Reading Technique - as taught by Tai Lopez. The story of Sam Walton, a man who could not sit still. Take aways from this autobiography: Understood the value of a dollar, grew up during the depression. Continued to be frugal through all his years. Made sure all his businesses also understood the value of a dollar. From an early age he worked multiple jobs, never stopped moving. He has an urge to win, to win at everything. Sam built Walmart by copying. He didn't just merely copy someone else's design, he took the best from everyone, and everything. He found what worked and doubled-down. He accepted and then moved past his failures quickly. He spoke to everyone he could in the industry, and took intense notes (he obviously learned best by writing). He went to trade organizations, competitors, both domestic and global. He was always in his stores, around his employees, asking questions, seeing how things were done. He never stopped learning. He was always look to improve every aspect of his business. He was never married to procedure, only to values and concepts. He accepted changes to his operations as necessary, but the driver to those changes was his overall vision and values, which never faltered. Although he looks back thinking what he did was best overall for everyone, he definitely put his business ahead of his family.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Enjgaa

    The book for people who want to open their own service/business. Sam Walton is owner of WalMart. He changed retailing industry and brought current chain stores' standards. 1. Find and hire right people and talents even they did not graduate fancy colleges or universities. Implement "Kaizen way" within your team and company. 2. Be competitive. Check what your competitives do. Specially concentrate on what they are doing right. 3. Be innovative. Think about how you can make new technologies or concept The book for people who want to open their own service/business. Sam Walton is owner of WalMart. He changed retailing industry and brought current chain stores' standards. 1. Find and hire right people and talents even they did not graduate fancy colleges or universities. Implement "Kaizen way" within your team and company. 2. Be competitive. Check what your competitives do. Specially concentrate on what they are doing right. 3. Be innovative. Think about how you can make new technologies or concepts adapt to your own good and modify it for your purpose. 4. Have your own target. Commit to what you want to do and do whatever you can to achieve your goal. 5. Everything has 2 sides. Everybody is facing to their own problems. If bad thing happens today, that means it is time to think big and grow bigger based on experience you had.

  12. 4 out of 5

    May Ling

    Sam Walton really was one of the great business leaders of the last century. I had no idea that he had started Walmart well into his 40's. Makes me feel young, just when I was starting to feel old in my career. The major theme of this book could not be louder, it's all about the customer. The nuance of how Sam Walton thought of it is quite clear. He means specifically: The customer - in his case, small town America, not the slightly more affluent of Urban America - wants good quality product for Sam Walton really was one of the great business leaders of the last century. I had no idea that he had started Walmart well into his 40's. Makes me feel young, just when I was starting to feel old in my career. The major theme of this book could not be louder, it's all about the customer. The nuance of how Sam Walton thought of it is quite clear. He means specifically: The customer - in his case, small town America, not the slightly more affluent of Urban America - wants good quality product for the lowest possible reasonable price. He allowed this lighthouse to guide his every thought process from marketing, to distribution, to sourcing of goods and more. Even the innovations that occurred technologically were extremely clearly client driven. This kind of laser focus is rare in business. It is so easy as a company gets larger to become lost in the weeds of things or start to think of economy of scale. That exists pervasively in nearly every industry that one might think was client focus and has opened huge gaping opportunities for competitors to interface and thereby steal customers. I think it will be interesting to watch Sam Walton's legacy as the world of retail moves out of the physical space into the cloud. There are some real problems that his organization may or may not really yet know how to handle. As for his management style, I found it amazing that even as a successful a man as he was, there are plenty of stories of fights with his management to implement something that is so obvious today (such as greeters). This took him 1 year to get all his regional managers on-board. Reminds you that no matter who you are, you still have to sell your ideas. I know there is always a little gloss and fiction to every biography, but there is enough sheer business wisdom - regardless of industry - to make this a worthy read. The language is folksy, making it a light one to bring on vacation or to read after a long day at work. Full stars to Sam Walton on this one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tim Chavel

    Being an employee at Wal-Mart now for almost three years I knew this is a book I wanted to read. I also enjoy reading books about companies especially if the author is the founder. Wal-Mart's story is a fantastic story of America's free enterprise. I will tell you that some of the things revealed in the book about employees were either not correct or they have changed through the years. I know for a fact that many have changed and I think Sam Walton would not be happy about some of the changes. Being an employee at Wal-Mart now for almost three years I knew this is a book I wanted to read. I also enjoy reading books about companies especially if the author is the founder. Wal-Mart's story is a fantastic story of America's free enterprise. I will tell you that some of the things revealed in the book about employees were either not correct or they have changed through the years. I know for a fact that many have changed and I think Sam Walton would not be happy about some of the changes. To help you understand was an amazing success story Wal-Mart is I have included a quote from the book below: As everybody today knows, Wal-Mart's stock performance, and the wealth it has created, is a story in itself. Just fifteen years ago [this book was published in 1992], the market value of the company was around $135 million; today it's over $50 billion. But here's a better way to look at it: let's say you bought 100 shares back in that original public offering, for $1650. Since then, we've had nine two-for-one stock splits, so you would have 51,200 shares today. Within the last year, it's traded at right under $60 a share. So your investment would have been worth right around $3 million at that price. Obviously, our stock has made a lot of folks happy over the years, and - pure and simple - that's where the Walton family net worth has been created. It paid off beyond any of our dreams. If you want to know more about Wal-Mart and/or just enjoy reading about companies then this would be a good read for you!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alex Poovathingal

    A brilliant tale of a startup which went on to become the largest company by revenue. The basic philosophies which Sam Walton brought into his retail and discount chains business has been a driving force behind this change. One of the most striking among them, I felt, was his lack of inhibitions to copy ideas. One of his favorite past times was to visit the stores of his competitors and figure out what works for them. Another was flying his plane around scouting for places to start new stores. As A brilliant tale of a startup which went on to become the largest company by revenue. The basic philosophies which Sam Walton brought into his retail and discount chains business has been a driving force behind this change. One of the most striking among them, I felt, was his lack of inhibitions to copy ideas. One of his favorite past times was to visit the stores of his competitors and figure out what works for them. Another was flying his plane around scouting for places to start new stores. As far as the book is considered, it's a tale of a company that has changed the way retails has done all around the world. Even though its an auto-biography of Sam Walton, its more or less a story about Walmart, just like his life. I would recommend this book for all startup enthusiasts. The sheer force and persistence he has shown towards growing his company and making sure it stayed the best is a model which everyone can follow.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Suwak

    Fantastic book. I would recommend this to anybody who wants to start their own business or reach for any big goal. Forget about the politics of the company right now. To get too focused on that is to miss out on a book full of wisdom by an interesting, humble character. There are lessons one can learn here about both business and life in general, and it's all written in a very simple style that flows easily and is a pleasure to read. I really didn't know what to think when I picked up this book. Fantastic book. I would recommend this to anybody who wants to start their own business or reach for any big goal. Forget about the politics of the company right now. To get too focused on that is to miss out on a book full of wisdom by an interesting, humble character. There are lessons one can learn here about both business and life in general, and it's all written in a very simple style that flows easily and is a pleasure to read. I really didn't know what to think when I picked up this book. I need to learn more about business and needed a break from text books, so I decided to try it. I am so glad I did. Excellent book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    P.S. Winn

    I think Wal-mart has changed a lot from when Sam Walton first envisioned the store. I believe the founder was more of a home-spun character and sadly it seems to me that although employing many people the store has turned into a heartless monster.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Archit

    The author has painted an interesting landscape of the dynamics of the retail industry & his plan to become the best retailer, along with a fair share of self-aggrandizement and too many unnecessary positive endorsements from various people who have interacted with him. Takeaways: 1. He is a very competitive person who values the customers & employees. He also believes in saving every dollar: "But sometimes I'm asked why today, when Wal-Mart has been so successful, when we're a $50 billion-plus comp The author has painted an interesting landscape of the dynamics of the retail industry & his plan to become the best retailer, along with a fair share of self-aggrandizement and too many unnecessary positive endorsements from various people who have interacted with him. Takeaways: 1. He is a very competitive person who values the customers & employees. He also believes in saving every dollar: "But sometimes I'm asked why today, when Wal-Mart has been so successful, when we're a $50 billion-plus company, should we stay so cheap? That's simple: because we believe in the value of the dollar. We exist to provide value to our customers, which means that in addition to quality and service, we have to save them money. Every time Wal-Mart spends one dollar foolishly, it comes right out of our customers' pockets. Every time we save them a dollar, that puts us one more step ahead of the competition—which is where we always plan to be." 2. Underscoring the importance of volumes: Here's the simple lesson we learned—which others were learning at the same time and which eventually changed the way retailers sell and customers buy all across America: say I bought an item for 80 cents. I found that by pricing it at $1.00 I could sell three times more of it than by pricing it at $1.20. I might make only half the profit per item, but because I was selling three times as many, the overall profit was much greater. Simple enough. But this is really the essence of discounting: by cutting your price, you can boost your sales to a point where you earn far more at the cheaper retail price than you would have by selling the item at the higher price. In retailer language, you can lower your markup but earn more because of the increased volume. 3. Stressed on the importance of passing on the benefits of price reduction to the customer: The thing I remember most, though, was the way we priced goods. Merchandise would come in and we would just lay it down on the floor and get out the invoice. Sam wouldn't let us hedge on a price at all. Say the list price was $1.98, but we had only paid 50 cents. Initially, I would say, 'Well, it's originally $1.98, so why don't we sell it for $1.25?' And he'd say, 'No. We paid 50 cents for it. Mark it up 30 percent, and that's it. No matter what you pay for it, if we get a great deal, pass it on to the customer.' And of course that's what we did." 4. focus on operational efficiency: "We have a lot of fun with all this item promotion, but here's what it's really all about. The philosophy it teaches, which rubs off on all the associates and the store managers and the department heads, is that your stores are full of items that can explode into big volume and big profits if you are just smart enough to identify them and take the trouble to promote them. In retail, you are either operations driven—where your main thrust is toward reducing expenses and improving efficiency—or you are merchandise driven. The ones that are truly merchandise driven can always work on improving operations. But the ones that are operations driven tend to level off and begin to deteriorate. So Sam's item promotion mania is a great game and we all have a lot of fun with it, but it is also at the heart of what creates our extraordinary high sales per square foot, which enable us to dominate our competition." 5. Keeping your ear to the ground: "I remember him saying over and over again: go in and check our competition. Check everyone who is our competition. And don't look for the bad. Look for the good. If you get one good idea, that's one more than you went into the store with, and we must try to incorporate it into our company. We're really not concerned with what they're doing wrong, we're concerned with what they're doing right, and everyone is doing something right." 6. Constantly experimenting; doing the obvious things which the competitors aren't. For instance, infiltrating the small towns (competitors like K-mart used to focus only on the big cities) He was the main force that moved us away from the old drop shipment method, in which a store ordered directly from the manufacturer and had the merchandise delivered directly to the store by common carrier. He pushed us in some new directions, such as merchandise assembly, in which we would order centrally for every store and then assemble their orders at the distribution center, and also cross-docking, in which preassembled orders for individual stores would be received on one side of our warehouse and leave out the other. But while the big guys were leapfrogging from large city to large city, they became so spread out and so involved in real estate and zoning laws and city politics that they left huge pockets of business out there for us. Our growth strategy was born out of necessity, but at least we recognized it as a strategy pretty early on. We figured we had to build our stores so that our distribution centers, or warehouses, could take care of them, but also so those stores could be controlled. 7. Granting stock options to employees & the novel Shrink Incentive Plan: One of the most successful bonuses has been our shrink incentive plan, which demonstrates the partnership principle as well as any I know beyond just straight profit sharing. As you may know, shrinkage, or unaccounted-for inventory loss —theft, in other words —is one of the biggest enemies of profitability in the retail business. So in 1980, we decided the best way to control the problem was to share with the associates any profitability the company gained by reducing it. If a store holds shrinkage below the company's goal, every associate in that store gets a bonus that could be as much as $200. This is sort of competitive information, but I can tell you that our shrinkage percentage is about half the industry average. Not only that, it helps our associates feel better about each other, and themselves. Most people don't enjoy stealing, even the ones who will do it if given the opportunity. And most associates don't want to think that they're working alongside anyone who does enjoy stealing. So under a plan like this, where you're directly rewarded for honesty, there's a real incentive to keep from ignoring any customers who might want to walk off with something, or, worse, to allow any of your fellow associates to fall into that trap. Everybody working in that store becomes a partner in trying to stop shrinkage, and when they succeed, they—along with the company in which they already hold stock— share in the reward. 8. Sharing the financial numbers with employees + sharing information with vendor partners (P&G) Another important ingredient that has been in the Wal-Mart partnership from the very beginning has been our very unusual willingness to share most of the numbers of our business with all the associates. It's the only way they can possibly do their jobs to the best of their abilities—to know what's going on in their business. If I was a little slow to pick up on sharing the profits, we were among the first in our industry—and are still way out front of almost everybody —with the idea of empowering our associates by running the business practically as an open book. I've always told people in the stores what was going on with the numbers. But after we decided to act like a partnership, we formalized the sharing of information to a much greater degree. Sharing information and responsibility is a key to any partnership. It makes people feel responsible and involved, and as we've gotten bigger we've really had to accept sharing a lot of our numbers with the rest of the world as a consequence of sticking by our philosophy. Everything about us gets to the outside. In our individual stores, we show them their store's profits, their store's purchases, their store's sales, and their store's markdowns. We show them all that on a regular basis, and I'm not talking about just the managers and the assistant managers. We share that information with every associate, every hourly, every part-time employee in the stores. Obviously, some of that information flows to the street. But I just believe the value of sharing it with our associates is much greater than any downside there may be to sharing it with folks on the outside. "As a result, we assembled the top ten officers of both companies in Bentonville for two days of soul-searching and thinking, and within three months we had created a P&G/Wal-Mart team to build a whole new kind of vendor-retailer relationship. We formed a partnership to conduct our business, with one of the most important outcomes being that we started sharing information by computer. P&G could monitor Wal-Mart's sales and inventory data, and then use that information to make its own production and shipping plans with a great deal more efficiency. We broke new ground by using information technology to manage our business together, instead of just to audit it." Following the P&G/Wal-Mart partnership, many other companies began to view the supplier as an important partner. The partnership was also a model for many of our other vendor relationships. 9. Many people have contributed over the years, but David Glass has to get the lion's share of the credit for where we are today in distribution. David had a vision for automated distribution centers—linked by computer both to our stores and to our suppliers—and he set about building such a system, beginning in 1978 at Searcy, Arkansas. 10. Truncating the era of Variety Stores: Now, most of these guys already had distribution centers and systems in place, while we had to build one from scratch. So on paper we really didn't stand a chance. What happened was that they didn't really commit to discounting. They held on to their old variety store concepts too long. They were so accustomed to getting their 45 percent markup, they never let go. It was hard for them to take a blouse they'd been selling for $8.00, and sell it for $5.00, and only make 30 percent. With our low costs, our low expense structures, and our low prices, we were ending an era in the heartland. We shut the door on variety store thinking.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Henrik Haapala

    “Two things about Sam Walton distinguish him from almost everyone else I know. First, he gets up every day bound and determined to improve something. Second, he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known. And once he sees he’s wrong, he just shakes it off and heads in another direction.” p.50 “It was a real blessing for me to be so green and ignorant, because it was from that experience that I learned a lesson which has stuck with me all through the years: you can learn from everyb “Two things about Sam Walton distinguish him from almost everyone else I know. First, he gets up every day bound and determined to improve something. Second, he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known. And once he sees he’s wrong, he just shakes it off and heads in another direction.” p.50 “It was a real blessing for me to be so green and ignorant, because it was from that experience that I learned a lesson which has stuck with me all through the years: you can learn from everybody. I didn’t just learn from reading every retail publication I could get my hands on, I probably learned the most from studying what John Dunham was doing across the street.” p.29 “But at the time the Newport and the Ben Franklin had great potential, and I’ve always believed in goals, so I set myself one: I wanted my little Newport store to be the best, most profitable variety store in Arkansas within five years. I felt I had the talent to do it, that it could be done, and why not go for it? Set that as a goal and see if you can’t achieve it. If it doesn’t work, you’ve had fun trying.” p.28 “I learned early on that one of the secrets to campus leadership was the simplest thing of all: speak to people coming down the sidewalk before they speak to you.” p.19 “When Sam Walton feels a certain way, he is relentless. He will just wear you out." "Four-thirty wouldn't be all that unusual a time for me to get started down at the office. That early morning time is tremendously valuable: it's uninterrupted time when I think and plan and sort things out." "I think one of Sam's great strengths is that he is totally unpredictable. He is always his own person, totally independent in his thinking." "Now when it comes to wall-mart, there's no two ways about it: I'm cheap. I think it's a real statement that wall- mart never bought a jet until after we were approaching 40 million dollars in sales and expanded as far away as California and Maine, and even then they had to practically tie me up and hold me down to do it. On the road, we sleep two to a room, although as I've gotten older I have finally started staying in my own room." LS Robson; “He influenced me a great deal. He was a great salesman, one of the most persuasive individuals I have ever met. And I am sure his success as a trader and a businessman, his knowledge of finance and the law, and his philosophy had a big effect on me. My competitive nature was such that i saw his success and admired it . I didn’t envy it. I admired it. I said to myself: maybe I will be as successful as he is someday.” p.7 I also started selling magazine subscriptions, probably as young as seven or eight years old, and I had paper routes from the seventh grade all the way through college. I raised and sold rabbits and pigeons too, nothing really unusual for country boys of that era. I learned from a very early age that is what important for us kids to help provide for the home, to be contributors, rather than just takers. In the process, of course we learned how much hard work it took to get your hands on a dollar, and that when you did it was worth something. One thing my mother and dad shared completely was their approach to money: they just didn’t spend it.” p.6 “No question about it, a lot of my attitude toward money stems from growing up during a pretty hardscrabble time in our country’s history: the Great Depression.” p.4 “People can’t understand why we’re still so conservative. They make a big deal about Sam being a billionaire and driving an old pickup truck or buying his clothes from Walmart or refusing to fly first class.” p.6 Sams rules for building a business: 1. Commit to your business. 2. Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. 3. Motivate your partners. 4. Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. 5. Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. 6. Celebrate your successes. 7. Listen to everyone in your company. 8. Exceed your customers' expectations. 9. Control your expenses better than your competition. 10. Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. “As famous as Sam is for being a great motivator - and he deserves even more credit than he’s gotten for that - he is equally good at checking on the people he has motivated. You might call his style: management by looking over your shoulder.” “Rule 10: swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. Sir everybody is doing it one way , there’s a good chance you can find a niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks to wave you down and tell you you’re headed the wrong way. I guess in all my years, what I heard more than anything was: a town of less than 50000 population cannot support a discount store for very long.” p.317 “Here’s how I look at it: my life has been a trade off. If I wanted to reach the goals I set for myself, I had to get at it and stay at it every day. I had to think about it all the time. And I guess what David Glass said about me is true: I had to get up every day with my mind set on improving something. Charlie Baum was tight too when he said I was driven by a desire to always be on the top of the heap. But in the larger sense - the life and death sense - did I make the right choices?” p.320 “Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who’s going to have a great idea.” 324 ”But all this requires overcoming one of the most powerful forces in human nature: the resistance to change. To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time.” p.324

  19. 5 out of 5

    Iliuta

    Sam Walton wrote this book to recount his fascinating story of how Walmart made it from a small-town America discount store to the present-day giant retailer. The tone of the book is informal, as if Sam Walton is right in front of you. That makes the book funny and engaging. Some valuable insights I took from Walmart´s founder: - You can learn something from everyone. He is not embarrassed to admit that “most of everything I´ve done I copied from somebody else”. He used to say to his managers an Sam Walton wrote this book to recount his fascinating story of how Walmart made it from a small-town America discount store to the present-day giant retailer. The tone of the book is informal, as if Sam Walton is right in front of you. That makes the book funny and engaging. Some valuable insights I took from Walmart´s founder: - You can learn something from everyone. He is not embarrassed to admit that “most of everything I´ve done I copied from somebody else”. He used to say to his managers and associates: “Check everyone who is our competition. And don’t look for bad. Look for good”. He admitted: “I did something I would do for the rest of my run in the retail business without any shame or embarrassment whatsoever: nose around other´s people stores and searching for good talent.” - The best way to grow businesswise and sustain performance is by having a hands-on approach, by being present in the stores speaking to people, “before they speak to you", asking questions as part of the “educational process”. The Waltons recall that even during their road trips or overseas voyages, Sam, armed with his tape recorder or legal pad, would check every store in their way asking questions. - A winning mentality and letting go of your own mistakes or achievements, for that matter, can take you far away - “To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time.” - Empowering managers and associates to test their radical ideas contributed to Walmart´s success. Sam Walton gives the associates their due credit recognising their constant dedication and vital role in remaining in touch with the customer. A visionary ahead of his time, he goes on to list ten principles for building a successful business: 1. Commit to the company. Believe it more than anybody else. 2. Share the profits with all your employees. Treat everyone as your partner. 3. Motivate your partners. Don’t become too predictable. 4. Communicate everything you can to your partners. 5. Appreciate your employees. There are no substitutes for a word of praise. 6. Celebrate your success, find humour in your failures and have fun working. 7. Listen, listen to everyone. 8. Exceed your customers´expectations. Do a little more. 9. Control your expenses. Run an efficient operation. 10. Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. I read Sam Walton: Made in America was a favourite book of Amazon´s founder. No doubt Jeff Bezos borrowed several principles from Sam Walton - customer focus and frugal mentality. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in acquiring some sound principles to apply in their respective entrepreneurial endeavours.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Living in NWA, I see the ripple effect Sam Walton has had in the area first hand. He really changed Arkansas and put it on the map. I’ve met multiple people who personally knew Sam and only have great things to say about him. Everyone loves to hear about someone living the American Dream, starting something incredible out of nothing, and Sam’s commitment to the customer was unparalleled. A good, quick read— one that emphasizes the importance of the free market and the effect it can have on indiv Living in NWA, I see the ripple effect Sam Walton has had in the area first hand. He really changed Arkansas and put it on the map. I’ve met multiple people who personally knew Sam and only have great things to say about him. Everyone loves to hear about someone living the American Dream, starting something incredible out of nothing, and Sam’s commitment to the customer was unparalleled. A good, quick read— one that emphasizes the importance of the free market and the effect it can have on individuals.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Hamide meraj

    The book of founder of Wall-Mart is a classic biography book of a very successful business. It was fascinating to learn from the man that how he built one of the world's largest and most powerful corporations, from scratch! It was great and wonderful. Sam is a great man with strong values, despite all of the successes and failures Sam never sacrificed his core values. I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to start their own business. Sam's principles for creating a business: 1. Commit t The book of founder of Wall-Mart is a classic biography book of a very successful business. It was fascinating to learn from the man that how he built one of the world's largest and most powerful corporations, from scratch! It was great and wonderful. Sam is a great man with strong values, despite all of the successes and failures Sam never sacrificed his core values. I would recommend this book to anybody who wants to start their own business. Sam's principles for creating a business: 1. Commit to your business. 2. Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. 3. Motivate your partners. 4. Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. 5. Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. 6. Celebrate your successes. 7. Listen to everyone in your company. 8. Exceed your customers' expectations. 9. Control your expenses better than your competition. 10. Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore conventional wisdom. I recommend this book to anybody who wants to start their own business. It is worth reading it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Szymon Kulec

    2 ouf of 5 - it was ok-ish. While reading it I took a few notes of some interesting quotes, but beside that, it's just another "business book". Sam Walton built a discount empire - this is true, but this book does not convey anything applicable. Yeah, one can try to squeeze the dots and derive some general truths, but this could be done with any book (even not business ones). So this is a Walmart story, nothing beside it. 2 ouf of 5 - it was ok-ish. While reading it I took a few notes of some interesting quotes, but beside that, it's just another "business book". Sam Walton built a discount empire - this is true, but this book does not convey anything applicable. Yeah, one can try to squeeze the dots and derive some general truths, but this could be done with any book (even not business ones). So this is a Walmart story, nothing beside it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jose Amezcua

    It is one of the best books you can read. In this book you can learn some "universal" principles of success, like: Work hard, have mentors, learn of your mistakes, failure is a good thing, love your job, give value to the universe and break the rules ! It is one of the best books you can read. In this book you can learn some "universal" principles of success, like: Work hard, have mentors, learn of your mistakes, failure is a good thing, love your job, give value to the universe and break the rules !

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anuj Khandelwal

    One of the best books I have ever read. Parked it for the second time read sometime next year. Street smartness at its best! Not for those who love framework based consulting approaches to tackle simple problems in life. Wonderful principles on Value/discounted retailing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cameron Smith

    Great book about how Sam Walton started Wal-Mart and the various challenges they had in the early days.

  26. 5 out of 5

    BuenoBomb aka Andre Bueno

    One of the best business books I have been fortunate to read. The book was extremely hard to put down and the story told itself through Sam Walton's eyes. The inspiration and thrill of his journey can motivate anyone from his true account of constant and never ending improvement (kaizen). CHAPTER NOTES: Ch01: Learning to value the dollar Hard work is the story behind Walmart Overspending is the most common cause of corporate issues Walmart is cheap and they stay on a restricted budget by controlling One of the best business books I have been fortunate to read. The book was extremely hard to put down and the story told itself through Sam Walton's eyes. The inspiration and thrill of his journey can motivate anyone from his true account of constant and never ending improvement (kaizen). CHAPTER NOTES: Ch01: Learning to value the dollar Hard work is the story behind Walmart Overspending is the most common cause of corporate issues Walmart is cheap and they stay on a restricted budget by controlling their overhead expenses "We exist to provide value for the customer, which means that in addition to delivering quality and service, we have to save the customer money. Every dollar spent is a dollar taken out of the customers pocket- we make our decisions wisely. Every dollar saved puts us one step ahead of the competition." Ch02: Starting on a dime Be over blessed with ambition and drive Be the best at whatever you take on Be obsessed with winning Set extremely high personal goals Exercising your ego in public is not an effective way to build an organization Have a string bias towards action Expect to win, go into challenges expecting to come out victorious The best part about being new is that you can learn from anyone Always try to do something different Focus on driving costs down Church is an important part of society, especially in the small towns Read your contractual agreements carefully Ch03: Bouncing back Innovate, experiment, and expand Sam Walton spent twenty two years innovating and expanding before opening the first world renowned Walmart in 1962 Everyday Sam got up with the determination to improve something and of being less wrong Ch04: Swimming upstream One of the real secrets of Walmart is having had to swim upstream for so long Let's be out front. Let's do it right. Let's get it done now and get on with it. Spend time checking out the competition and see what they are doing right Have very little capacity for embarrassment and don't pay attention to the way the mainstream society do things Ch.06: Recruiting the team Focus on the business and take care of the people on your team Look at your competition to see if you are headed in the right direction Question every expenditure and work hard to learn as much as possible before implementing change Ch.07: Taking the company public Don't get caught up on other people's goals, keep you head down, work hard, and do your job as best as you can Be long term oriented Ch.08: Rolling out the formula Go into the small towns when no one else will "Each store had to be a day's drive of a distribution center. Then we would fill in the map of that territory, state by state, county seat by county seat, until we had saturated that market area." "We never planned on going into the cities. What we did instead was buikd our stores in a ring around a city- pretty far out- and wait for the growth to come to us." Sam was scouting real estate by plane to see what cities were growing, how traffic flow was working, and evaluate the location of their competitors, if any. When asked about his mgmt style: "I think I'm more of a manager by walking and flying around, and in the process I stick my fingers into everything I can to see how it's coming along." Every trip he carried his tape recorder and his yellow pad with the top 10 to 15 things he should be doing as a company. He kept up with all his tasks by coming in early and working uninterrupted. "If you take someone who lacks the experience but has the desire and willingness to work hard to get the job done, their hard work will make up for whatever skill they lack." They committed to improving one area of the business every single day, little by little. Ch.09: Building the partnership "The more you share profits with your associates- whether it's in salaries or incentives or bonuses or stock discounts- the more profit will accrue to the company. Because the way management treats the associates is exactly how the associates wilk treat the customers." The real money is made with the repeat customer Take care of your people, treat them well, involve them, and you won't spend all your time and money hiring labor lawyers to fight the unions If you are good to people, and fair with them, and demanding of them, they will eventually decide you are on their side Running your business as an open book allows you to create trust between you and your employees; get people involved, share information, and make them feel responsible for their actions Be appreciative for the things that are being done right Ch.10: Stepping back Walmart focused on the basics: keeping their costs down, teaching the associates to take care of their customers, and working hard. Turn each disaster into an opportunity. The best executive is the one who has touched all the areas of the business and have the best overall concept of the core values. Find and hire the people who havr the skills and qualities you don't have. Ch.11: Creating a culture Just because we work hard doesn't mean we have to take ourselves too seriously. Walmart motivates their employees like a Tony Robbins seminar. Find a way to make your culture fun Make constant change a part of the company culture Ch.12: Making the customer number one The secret to a successful investment business is to give the investor what they want. The investor wants timely revenue updates, the lowest possible expenses, guaranteed satisfaction with each investment, friendly and knowledgeable investor relations, reliability and a pleasant investment experience. If you expect great things from people, they will expect it from themselves. Focus on what the investor wants and deliver it. Meet every single investor, let them know you care, and appreciate them. Become the agent for your investor, amd do the best job possible, by delivering the best investment possible. Ch.12: Meeting the competition We decided that instead of avoiding our competitors, or waiting for them to come to us, we would meet them head on. Know who your competitor is, learn from their successes and mistakes. There's nothing he enjoys more than going to a competitors store and learning from it. Competition will make you a better company. There's a necessity for constant change and improvement. Greet the investor, smile at the investor, help the investor, and thank the investor. Ch.14: Expanding the circles Technology and distribution play a huge role in Walmart's success. Ch.15: Thinking small We became big by doing the little things day in and day out. Thinking small is a way of life, almost an obsession. The benefit of thinking small is the ability to move quickly and agile. Six principles: 1. Think one investment at a time. - Do what you do best- improve your service, keep expenses down, and keep making things better for your investors. - You don't want a headquarter driven system that's out of touch with the investors of each project. - Examine each project in detail to understand the complexities surrounding that area. - Focusing on a single investment allows you to improve that project by understanding the different variables involved while implementing any lessons learned to other projects. 2. Communicate, communicate,  communicate - The necessity of good communication is vital for the company's success. - Information sharing is crucial to the business. - Now that the business has grown, there are 12 regional managers that fly across the country looking at the local Walmarts in order to report back to HQ 3. Push responsibility and authority down - Read the books of W. Edwards Deming - Kaizen - The subdivisions operate to compete with each other for growth and dominance 4. Force ideas to bubble up - Always be open to suggestions - Take in new ideas from every possible angle 5. Stay lean, fight bureaucracy - Operate lean - WMT used a 2% formula to cover their sales to run their offices - Be more productive and more efficient than your competition - Eliminate the layers between the floor employees and management, maintain that nimble nature so you can move swiftly in light of any challenges Ch.16: Giving something back - It's important to give back to causes that mean something to you - Don't subsidize inefficiencies, donate to a cause that makes sense Ch.17: Running a successful company: Ten rules that worked for me: 1. COMMIT to your business and belive in it more than anyone else. Generate that passion for the work you do and do it better than anyone else. 2. SHARE your profits with your associates and treat them like partners. Encourage team engagement and try to ensure everyone wins in this game together.  3. MOTIVATE and challenge your partners to continue growing and working better/more efficiently. If things get stale: cross-polinate and have people work in other divisions. 4. COMMUNICATE everything with your partners. Trust them. The more you communicate, the more they will care. 5. APPRECIATE everything your associates do. 6. CELEBRATE your successes.  Don't take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, have fun, and always show enthusiasm. Find humor in your failures and then move forward. 7. LISTEN to everyone in your company. Figure out ways to get them talking. The people on the front lines see more than you imagine. 8. EXCEED your customers expectations. Give them what they want and a little more. Always strive to let them know you appreciate them, make good on your mistakes, and don't make excuses. Focus on "satisfaction guaranteed". 9. CONTROL your expenses better than your competition, this is where you can find the competitive advantage. You can make a lot of different mistakes and still recover if you run an efficient operation. 10. SWIM upstream.  Go the other way. Ignore conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there's a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction. But be prepared for a lot of folks yo wave you down and tell you you're headed the wrong way. The hard part is figuring out how to implement these rules. Ch.18: Wanting to leave a legacy - Those companies that aren't thinking about the customer and focusing on the customers' interest are going to get lost in the shuffle - Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them - To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time - Set the example and behave the way you want your employees to behave - The more you give, the more you get - It's all a matter of attitude and the capacity to constantly study and question the management of the business

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robert Cowper-Coles

    An excellent book that in a very simplified and American way, spells out the success of Walmart. As a child Sam Walton had a knack of selling, with his newspaper rounds (by employing two additional friends) created a profit of $5000. He then set up his own store in Newport in his mid 20’s, which was a huge success, but due to his contract terms, the landlord forced Sam to sell the business to him. Not letting this failure fell him, Sam set up a Ben Franklin (later rebranded Walmart) in Bentonvil An excellent book that in a very simplified and American way, spells out the success of Walmart. As a child Sam Walton had a knack of selling, with his newspaper rounds (by employing two additional friends) created a profit of $5000. He then set up his own store in Newport in his mid 20’s, which was a huge success, but due to his contract terms, the landlord forced Sam to sell the business to him. Not letting this failure fell him, Sam set up a Ben Franklin (later rebranded Walmart) in Bentonvile and from there went on the offensive. Sam would deliberately buy land to prevent rival retailers expanding their own stores, would search bins at night to find out their financial performance, would conduct market research in the store of rivals, and poach employees from retail rivals by pretending to be a customer, and then approaching the staff who served him well to come and work at Walmart. As the company became bigger it listed, and Sam turned Walmart into a partnership (inspired by a trip to the UK and seeing John Lewis), with stock purchases and retirement packages for workers. He called all workers “Associates” to create an inclusive atmosphere, had 7:30 Saturday morning board mornings, made employees dress in weird clothing at meetings if their prediction for sales were wrong, and bought 12 planes to enable mangers to fly to all the stores. It was these numerous flights, Sam noticed the potential of Walmart. Ultimately an extraordinary individual, pretty traditional, fiercely pro free market, seriously anti trade unions (Walmart had a number of encounters with the Unions), a fantastic memory, slight workaholic and a strong believer in the greatness of America, shown by Bush Senior awarding Sam the Presidential medal of freedom a couple of months before Sam died. Great read, Thank you Freddie!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Greg Kopstein

    This book was sitting on my shelf for a year or so and I figured “why not” - I opened the book, hoping for another solid book on business from a genuine success story. I’ve ready many, so this simple paperback seemed like a good fit. This simple paperback. A genuine Walmart product if ever I’ve seen one. After several minutes of reading, I knew I needed a highlighter and a pen, which I carried everywhere for two weeks. Everywhere. The book’s spine began to be crinkled, yellow highlights and blac This book was sitting on my shelf for a year or so and I figured “why not” - I opened the book, hoping for another solid book on business from a genuine success story. I’ve ready many, so this simple paperback seemed like a good fit. This simple paperback. A genuine Walmart product if ever I’ve seen one. After several minutes of reading, I knew I needed a highlighter and a pen, which I carried everywhere for two weeks. Everywhere. The book’s spine began to be crinkled, yellow highlights and black pen annotations all over, including my own notes, thoughts, and ideas. Two weeks of being immersed in this legacy-turned-management book. This book captured Sam Walton’s voice and spirit and I bought in right away. There are many concepts I’d like to include in my teaching or coaching - I’m not in retail or a conventional “business”. I plan on using much of my highlights from Made in America in my Sociology class. I don’t know much about Sam Walton as a person, except from my experiences in his stores and from this book. I understand there are many critics, but I am not one of them. A fantastic read for any aspiring business or management figure, but also for any position that involves leadership at any level. Then again, maybe it’s a great fit for anyone who has ever stepped into a Walmart. My only disappointment was that he died in the early 1990’s and Walmart has grown so much since. I wish there was a follow up from its current CEO or member of the Walton family. Sam Walton earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In my humble opinion, it was well-earned.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joshua R. Taylor

    A fun diversion into the world of American retail in 20th century. Sam Walton... I don't think I have ever encountered a character as enthusiastic about retail as him! He (or his ghost writer) writes with such a passion for the mission he's trying to achieve. Every day to him seemed to be like another fun challenge. As an avid libertarian and laissez-faire capitalist, he believed strongly about pushing as much control to his employees (associates as he called them) as possible. He also seemed qui A fun diversion into the world of American retail in 20th century. Sam Walton... I don't think I have ever encountered a character as enthusiastic about retail as him! He (or his ghost writer) writes with such a passion for the mission he's trying to achieve. Every day to him seemed to be like another fun challenge. As an avid libertarian and laissez-faire capitalist, he believed strongly about pushing as much control to his employees (associates as he called them) as possible. He also seemed quite moral in his actions, quite directly criticising the concentration of wealth in typical United States management teams. He made the assertion here that a company cannot build a cohesive team if the employees don't feel like they're getting a share of the rewards. That last assertion was part of the 10 rules (more like heuristics) for business that he says worked for him. These are: 1. Commit to your business. 2. Share your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners. 3. Motivate your partners. 4. Communicate everything you possibly can to your partners. 5. Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. 6. Celebrate your successes. Find some humour in your failures. 7. Listen to everybody in your company. 8. Exceed your customers' expectations. 9. Control your expenses better than your competition. 10. Swim upstream, ignore the conventional wisdom. Some parts of the book did read a little like a pitch for potential investors. Others read as rose-tinted anecdotes trying to reinforce Walton's political and economic views. But overall a quite inspiring story. Maybe one day I'll start a business.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Matt McAlear

    A great book from a great man's perspective near the end of his life. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is how authentic it seems. Sam talks about his mistakes just about as often as his successes and is constantly giving credit to other people throughout the book. A few key takeaways: - Every time we spend one dollar foolishly that's one dollar out of our customer's pockets. Every time we save them a dollar it puts us one more step ahead of our competition. - Noone paid 5% of sale A great book from a great man's perspective near the end of his life. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is how authentic it seems. Sam talks about his mistakes just about as often as his successes and is constantly giving credit to other people throughout the book. A few key takeaways: - Every time we spend one dollar foolishly that's one dollar out of our customer's pockets. Every time we save them a dollar it puts us one more step ahead of our competition. - Noone paid 5% of sales for rent. - No matter how cheap they bought a product they always kept their margins at 30% so they could pass the savings along to their customers. - They created a P&L for each store - Sam worked 100 hours a week. He would work until 10 o'clock at night and then come in early for the Saturday meetings. - If you want your employees to take care of your customers then you must take care of your employees. - His profit target was somewhere around 6% or higher to sales. This was a metric they used when opening so many stores. - Sam operates on a 2% SGA budget to sales ratio Final thoughts about Sam. He was an incredibly hard working, passionate, inquisitive man who seemed to have an unlimited sense of adventure. The book doesn't go out and say this but it appears he was a very wise man. He was a man of faith and in his final years he would a great question. Was it all worth it looking back at his career? A great question to ponder indeed.

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