During his recent interview with Colossus, Chris Bloomstran discusses Berkshire Hathaway’s win-win-win business strategy. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
Bloomstran: I think it’s the Golden Rule Patrick, and I put Costco in the same bucket, but Berkshire goes out of its way to take care of its customers, take care of its employees, take care of its regulators in these highly regulated businesses where they exist.
Work fairly with suppliers, work fairly with the other insurance companies that you’re doing reinsurance business with, to treat your customers fairly at Geico.
Take care of the communities in which you live. You’ve got this culture of a cult where the shareholders get it. Costco has a similar cult. And at the end of the day the shareholder is taken care of.
You just don’t have a 57 year history of accounting abuses, of write-offs and write downs. The decision making that’s taken place is extremely conservative.
It’s unique that it’s not adopted by more companies but it’s a long time horizon. I use these types of businesses like Berkshire and Costco as the standard of how to behave, and we’re looking for management teams that behave similarly, that run the business for the benefit of the shareholder.
A lot of times those are founders or owners or it’s folks that think that way.
Berkshire is not about making a quick buck. Too many companies are, and when you run a thing without debt and you never expose it to the worst of economic downturns, you have thick enough skin to not chase high tech in the late 90s because a lot of your shareholders think you could.
To not chase the next dollar of insurance premium because you have this need to be bigger every quarter and every day.
You can listen to the entire discussion here:
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