Biographies on Founders who built Great Companies and Brands

Biographies on Founders who built Great Companies and Brands

Books in list (18)


Title: Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

John D. Rockefeller, Sr.--history's first billionaire and the patriarch of America's most famous dynasty--is an icon whose true nature has eluded three generations of historians. Now Ron Chernow, the National Book Award-winning biographer of the Morgan and Warburg banking families, gives us a history of the mogul "etched with uncommon objectivity and literary grace . . . as detailed, balanced, and psychologically insightful a portrait of the tycoon as we may ever have" (Kirkus Reviews). Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefeller's exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book will indelibly alter our image of this most enigmatic capitalist.
Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the world's richest man by creating America's most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Branded "the Octopus" by legions of muckrakers, the trust refined and marketed nearly 90 percent of the oil produced in America.
Rockefeller was likely the most controversial businessman in our nation's history. Critics charged that his empire was built on unscrupulous tactics: grand-scale collusion with the railroads, predatory pricing, industrial espionage, and wholesale bribery of political officials. The titan spent more than thirty years dodging investigations until Teddy Roosevelt and his trustbusters embarked on a marathon crusade to bring Standard Oil to bay.
While providing abundant new evidence of Rockefeller's misdeeds, Chernow discards the stereotype of the cold-blooded monster to sketch an unforgettably human portrait of a quirky, eccentric original. A devout Baptist and temperance advocate, Rockefeller gave money more generously--his chosen philanthropies included the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Chicago, and what is today Rockefeller University--than anyone before him. Titan presents a finely nuanced portrait of a fascinating, complex man, synthesizing his public and private lives and disclosing numerous family scandals, tragedies, and misfortunes that have never before come to light.
John D. Rockefeller's story captures a pivotal moment in American history, documenting the dramatic post-Civil War shift from small business to the rise of giant corporations that irrevocably transformed the nation. With cameos by Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, Jay Gould, William Vanderbilt, Ida Tarbell, Andrew Carnegie, Carl Jung, J. Pierpont Morgan, William James, Henry Clay Frick, Mark Twain, and Will Rogers, Titan turns Rockefeller's life into a vivid tapestry of American society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is Ron Chernow's signal triumph that he narrates this monumental saga with all the sweep, drama, and insight that this giant subject deserves. From the Hardcover edition.

Author(s): Ron Chernow
ISBN 13: 9781400077304
Pages: 832
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Title: The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World

Starting with the first public demonstrations of the phonograph in 1878 and extending through the development of incandescent light and the first motion-picture cameras, Thomas Edison’s name became emblematic of all the wonder and promise of the emerging age of technological marvels. But this critical biography of the man who is arguably the most famous of all Americans provides a fuller view of Edison’s life and times–revealing not only how he worked, but how he managed his own fame, becoming the first great celebrity of the modern age. An in-depth portrait of America's greatest inventor journeys inside the life and Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory of Thomas Edison, documenting not only his revolutionary technological innovations, but also his remarkable ability to ...
Author(s): Randall E. Stross
ISBN 13: 9781400047635
Pages: 376
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Title: Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's

Few entrepreneurs can claim to have actually changed the way we live, but Ray Kroc is one of them. His revolutions in food service automation, franchising, shared national training and advertising have earned him a place beside the men who founded not merely businesses but entire new industries. But even more interesting than Ray Kroc the business legend is Ray Kroc the man. Not your typical self-made tycoon, Kroc was 52 when he met the McDonald brothers and opened his first franchise. Now meet Ray Kroc, the man behind the business legend, in his own words. Irrepressible enthusiast, perceptive people-watcher, and born storyteller, he will fascinate and inspire you. You'll never forget Ray Kroc.
Author(s): Ray Kroc;Robert Anderson
ISBN 13: 9780312929879
Pages: 218
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Title: Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Walt Disney was a true visionary whose desire for escape, iron determination and obsessive perfectionism transformed animation from a novelty to an art form, first with Mickey Mouse and then with his feature films most notably Snow White, Fantasia, and Bambi. In his superb biography, Neal Gabler shows us how, over the course of two decades, Disney revolutionized the entertainment industry. In a way that was unprecedented and later widely imitated, he built a synergistic empire that combined film, television, theme parks, music, book publishing, and merchandise. Walt Disney is a revelation of both the work and the man of both the remarkable accomplishment and the hidden life.
Author(s): Neal Gabler
ISBN 13: 9780679757474
Pages: 851
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Title: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

Amazon.com's visionary founder, Jeff Bezos, wasn't content with being a bookseller. He wanted Amazon to become the everything store, offering limitless selection and seductive convenience at disruptively low prices. To do so, he developed a corporate culture of relentless ambition and secrecy that's never been cracked. Until now. Brad Stone enjoyed unprecedented access to current and former Amazon employees and Bezos family members, and his book is the first in-depth, fly-on-the-wall account of life at Amazon. The Everything Store is the book that the business world can't stop talking about, the revealing, definitive biography of the company that placed one of the first and largest bets on the Internet and forever changed the way we shop and read.
Author(s): Brad Stone
ISBN 13: 9780316219280
Pages: 416
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Title: High Output Management

The president of Silicon Valley's Intel Corporation sets forth the three basic ideas of his management philosophy and details numerous specific techniques to increase productivity in the manager's work and that of his colleagues and ...
Author(s): Andrew S. Grove
ISBN 13: 9780679762881
Pages: 243
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Title: Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School

It’s business school, the Branson way. Whether you’re interested in starting your own business, improving your leadership skills, or simply looking for inspiration from one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Richard Branson has the answers. Like a Virgin brings together some of his best advice, distilling the experiences and insights that have made him one of the world’s most recognized and respected business leaders. In his trademark thoughtful and encouraging voice, Branson shares his knowledge like a close friend. He’ll teach you how to be more innovative, how to lead by listening, how to enjoy your work, and much more. In hindsight, Branson is thankful he never went to business school. Had he conformed to the conventional dos and don’ts of starting a business, would there have been a Virgin Records? A Virgin Atlantic? So many of Branson’s achievements are due to his unyielding deter­mination to break the rules and rewrite them himself. Here’s how he does it.

Author(s): Richard Branson
ISBN 13: 9781591845683
Pages: 352
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Title: The HP Way

Much more personal than standard corporate histories, David Packard's The HP Way provides insights into managing and motivating people and inspiration for would–be entrepreneurs. This bestselling classic joins the Collins Business Essentials line–up with a new Note from Steve Jobs. From a one–car–garage company to a multibillion–dollar industry, the rise of Hewlett–Packard is an extraordinary tale of vision, innovation and hard work. Conceived in 1939, Hewlett–Packard earned success not only as a result of its engineering know–how and cutting–edge product ideas, but also because of the unique management style it developed – a way of doing things called 'the HP way'. Decades before today's creative management trends, Hewlett–Packard invented such strategies as 'walk–around management', 'flextime', and 'quality cycles'. Always sensitive to the needs of its customers and responsive to employee input, Hewlett–Packard earned massive steady growth that far outshone its competitors' vacillating fortunes, even with radically different products from those responsible for its initial boom. For entrepreneurs and managers alike, the wisdom found in these pages is invaluable if they want their businesses to gain steady growth and consistent success.
Author(s): David Packard
ISBN 13: 9780060845797
Pages: 256
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Title: Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different

Framed by Jobs' inspirational Stanford commencement speech and illustrated throughout with black and white photos, this is the story of the man who changed our world.
Author(s): Karen Blumenthal
ISBN 13: 9781250014450
Pages: 320
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Title: Made in Japan Akio Morita and SONY

Sony is one of the most powerful and respected multinational corporations in the world, and Akio Morita is its outspoken chairman. From his global perspective, Morita provides an informative and highly entertaining look at how Japanese business really works.
Author(s): Akio Morita;Edwin M. Reingold;Mitsuko Shimomura
ISBN 13: 9783811878273
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Title: The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance

Part Two Of Two Parts

THE HOUSE OF MORGAN, a 1990 National Book Award winner, may be the most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty. It is a rich panoramic story of four generations of Morgans, of the firms they built, of their private alliances and public feuds, and of a presence that continues to this day.

Yet THE HOUSE OF MORGAN is more than any of these. It is the story of the colorful J. Pierpont Morgan with his colossal collection, numerous mistresses and Corsair, his cruiser-size yacht...of his son, J.P., who financed the Allies in WW I and fought with FDR...and of other famous families, the DuPonts, Astors, Vanderbilts and their ilk.

"A penetrating look at the real power (money) behind the historical events, and the industrial empires that have transformed the world." (Publisher's Source)

The most ambitious history ever written about an American banking dynasty, The House of Morgan traces the astonishing path of the J.P. Morgan empire with the sweep of an epic novel. "Brilliantly researched and written" (The Wall Street Journal), the hardcover was recently named winner of the 1990 National Book Award for Nonfiction. 32 pages of photographs.

Author(s): Ron Chernow
ISBN 13: 9780802144652
Pages: 848
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Title: Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson’s “enthralling” (The New Yorker) worldwide bestselling biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs—the inspiration for the movie Steve Jobs starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels, directed by Danny Boyle with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. Based on more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than 100 family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Isaacson’s portrait touched millions of readers. At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.
Author(s): Walter Isaacson
ISBN 13: 9781501127625
Pages: 656
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Title: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands. Young, searching, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed fifty dollars from his father and launched a company with one simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost running shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the trunk of his Plymouth Valiant, Knight grossed eight thousand dollars that first year, 1963. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In this age of start-ups, Knight’s Nike is the gold standard, and its swoosh is more than a logo. A symbol of grace and greatness, it’s one of the few icons instantly recognized in every corner of the world. But Knight, the man behind the swoosh, has always been a mystery. Now, in a memoir that’s surprising, humble, unfiltered, funny, and beautifully crafted, he tells his story at last. It all begins with a classic crossroads moment. Twenty-four years old, backpacking through Asia and Europe and Africa, wrestling with life’s Great Questions, Knight decides the unconventional path is the only one for him. Rather than work for a big corporation, he will create something all his own, something new, dynamic, different. Knight details the many terrifying risks he encountered along the way, the crushing setbacks, the ruthless competitors, the countless doubters and haters and hostile bankers—as well as his many thrilling triumphs and narrow escapes. Above all, he recalls the foundational relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers. Together, harnessing the electrifying power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the redemptive, transformative power of sports, they created a brand, and a culture, that changed everything.
Author(s): Phil Knight
ISBN 13: 9781501135910
Pages: 400
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Title: Drive!: Henry Ford, George Selden, and the Race to Invent the Auto Age

From the acclaimed author of Birdmen comes a revelatory new history of the birth of the automobile, an illuminating and entertaining true tale of invention, competition, and the visionaries, hustlers, and swindlers who came together to transform the world. In 1900, the Automobile Club of America sponsored the nation’s first car show in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The event was a spectacular success, attracting seventy exhibitors and nearly fifty thousand visitors. Among the spectators was an obscure would-be automaker named Henry Ford, who walked the floor speaking with designers and engineers, trying to gauge public enthusiasm for what was then a revolutionary invention. His conclusion: the automobile was going to be a fixture in American society, both in the city and on the farm—and would make some people very rich. None, he decided, more than he. Drive! is the most complete account to date of the wild early days of the auto age. Lawrence Goldstone tells the fascinating story of how the internal combustion engine, a “theory looking for an application,” evolved into an innovation that would change history. Debunking many long-held myths along the way, Drive! shows that the creation of the automobile was not the work of one man, but very much a global effort. Long before anyone had heard of Henry Ford, men with names like Benz, Peugeot, Renault, and Daimler were building and marketing the world’s first cars. Goldstone breathes life into an extraordinary cast of characters: the inventors and engineers who crafted engines small enough to use on a “horseless carriage”; the financiers who risked everything for their visions; the first racers—daredevils who pushed rickety, untested vehicles to their limits; and such visionary lawyers as George Selden, who fought for and won the first patent for the gasoline-powered automobile. Lurking around every corner is Henry Ford, a brilliant innovator and an even better marketer, a tireless promoter of his products—and of himself. With a narrative as propulsive as its subject, Drive! plunges us headlong into a time unlike any in history, when near-manic innovation, competition, and consumerist zeal coalesced to change the way the world moved.
Author(s): Lawrence Goldstone
ISBN 13: 9780553394184
Pages: 384
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Title: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

New York Times Bestseller - Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Audible and Amazon In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur's journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent more than 30 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way. Vance uses Musk's story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators which led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk--one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history--is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.
Author(s): Ashlee Vance
ISBN 13: 9780062301239
Pages: 400
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Title: Sam Walton, Made in America

Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America's heartland: Sam Walton, who parlayed a single dime store in a hardscrabble cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world. The undisputed merchant king of the late twentieth century, Sam never lost the common touch. Here, finally, inimitable words. Genuinely modest, but always sure if his ambitions and achievements. Sam shares his thinking in a candid, straight-from-the-shoulder style. In a story rich with anecdotes and the "rules of the road" of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream.
Author(s): Sam Walton;John Huey
ISBN 13: 9780553562835
Pages: 346
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Title: Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets. The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself. Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique. Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
Author(s): Peter Thiel;Blake Masters
ISBN 13: 9780804139298
Pages: 210
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Title: Go Pro

Over twenty years ago at a company convention, Eric Worre had an aha moment that changed his life forever. At that event he made the decision to Go Pro and become a Network Marketing expert. Since that time, he has focused on developing the skills to do just that. In doing so, Eric has touched and been touched by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Now he shares his wisdom in a guide that will ignite your passion for this profession and help you make the decision to Go Pro and create the life of your dreams. In this definitive guidebook, you will learn to: -Find prospects -Invite them to your product or opportunity -Present your product -Follow up with your prospects -Help them become customers or distributors -Help them get started right -Grow your team by promoting events -And much, much more. Eric's wish is for you to make the decision to become a Network Marketing Professional. For you to truly Go Pro. Because it is a stone-cold fact that Network Marketing is a better way. Now let's go tell the world.
Author(s): Eric Worre
ISBN 13: 9780988667907
Pages: 149
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