A “Finance Guy” Votes “Top Line”!

Consider this sterling exchange, published on 12.05, between Warren Buffett and a Boston Globe reporter (the occasion was a Jordan’s store opening—Jordan’s is a Mass. corporation.):

Reporter: “Why did you buy Jordan’s Furniture?”
Buffett: “Jordan’s is spectacular. It’s all showmanship.”

More Buffet #1: the Great Man responding to a question about why his Berkshire Hathaway annual reports are so readable, some say “down to earth”: “I write the report for my sisters Doris and Bertie. I pretend when I write that report that they’ve been traveling for a year. I tell them what I would want to know if I were gone for a year and they’d been in charge.”

More Buffett #2: A BizWeek Cover Story addressed similarities (many) and differences (just one) between Buffett and Eddie Lampert, King of Kmart (and now Sears). The similarities included an emphasis on long-term value, mature industries, and holdings in a small # of companies. But the Big Difference is telling: Buffett buys gems (like Jordan’s) and helps build them; Lampert believes he can make silk purses of sows’ ears. (To me, the word “delusional” pops to mind in the latter case—sorry.)

Tom Peters posted this on December 8, 2004, in Strategies.
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