Bookcover - Built to Last

Built to Last

by Jim Collins

Rating: 5/10


Companies that are built to last have things in common. And this book looked at a lot of companies successful over longer time frames to find out what. One idea is that business ideas don't matter. Assembling the right team and the right work environment and culture are more important for a company to thrive. Get the right people on the bus, then decide where it is going and steer if necessary.

With the right people on board, a company can pretty much do anything and still be profitable. With the right people, pivoting is easy and anything that is tried, will result either in learning or in quality and success.

Main Ideas

Businesses need more to them than making money to be visionary. Without a vision, a company can not be built to last. There has to be something at the core, an ideology, something that transcends time, for a company to last.

Visionary Companies are also like cults, if you work for one, you need to subscribe to their values, fully or not work there. In a way an extreme company culture is like a companies immune system, selecting out people that would be bad for the company and making them leave quickly again. Leaving only those aligned with the companies vision to stay.

If you like ideas like these, you should also check out Jim Collins other book Good to Great, which deals with how companies that are built to last, get started.

This book would have a higher rating if it weren't so full of survivorship bias. Because, yes, maybe these companies have all that in common, but that's not the only condition necessary for success. The book is a bit of a case study in falling for a narrative fallacy, but still interesting.

Favorite Quote

Visionary companies pursue a cluster of objectives, of which making money is only one—and not necessarily the primary one.

– Jim Collins

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