What they did: lessons from some of the world’s greatest companies

Taking notes for a fantastic future

Timer4 min

For every company that has attained a measure of mainstream fame, there were years of hard work, persistence, and perseverance behind it. These efforts often go unnoticed, overshadowed by the brilliance of success. However, they are integral to the accomplishments of such brands, to the extent that anyone looking to replicate such results would have to learn from those, too. If you have a startup or a brand and are looking to make it the next big thing, you have a lot of learning to do. One sure way to do so is by reading written about successful people.

The beautiful thing about learning from the ‘greats’ is that you pick up years of experience by default. You would be able to avoid the loopholes and mistakes these companies’ founders made. That, in turn, will help you position yourself to take the world by a storm.  We will be considering some of the stories of these companies. The idea is to leave no stone unturned, consider both the good and the bad and pick up the lessons we can from them.

Before we dive in, it is important to point out that what you will be seeing will be snippets from the books. It would be impossible to give a full summary of the contents of these books. To learn more, you can head over to the Headway library. Not to worry, you will find summaries of these books if you cannot spare the time to read the whole stuff. Now, let’s get to it!

Lessons from some of the world’s most successful companies

The heights great men reached were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Compared to other billionaires in his rank, Jeff Bezos is a private man. This makes it remarkable that he was able to turn a company that started out as a book delivery outlet into a multibillion-dollar business.  In this never-before-seen tell-all book about Jeff Bezos’s work with Amazon, writer Brad Stone chronicles the extraordinary feat Bezos accomplished within a short time. If this summary is getting you pumped, imagine how invigorated you will be after reading the full book.

No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier

When Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger conceived the idea that grew into Instagram, they were just students at Stanford University. They certainly were not looking for fame or wealth, although those eventually found them. At the time they sold their startup to Facebook for $1 billion, it was one of the biggest acquisitions in the industry. In No Filter, Sarah Frier gives an unvarnished account of this merger. She leaves nothing aside, creating a wonderful picture about the intrigues, betrayals, and conspiracies that greeted the joining of the two entities – Facebook and Instagram. There are certainly lessons to be learned. You can proceed to the Headway library to glean this knowledge in its entirety.

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

A lot of folks associate The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio because of his astonishing persona in the motion picture with that title. What they, however, do not know is that the depiction in the movie is only a tip of what actually went down. In this tell-all autobiography by Jordan Belfort, you get a firsthand account of the ordinary stockbroker who became a millionaire at the snap of a finger. Belfort takes you through the years, pointing out key lessons to show how his life of debauchery almost led to his ruins. With a book, you will not be distracted by the flashing lights and camera motions; it would be just you and Belfort having a tete a tete.  

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley are Changing the World by Brad Stone

It is certainly not out of place to brand these businesses upstarts. Uber and Airbnb have all but completely changed what we know about conducting business. The ideas behind these companies are audacious, and their execution is with unmatched elegance. In this book, you will learn all about these businesses, how they started, and why they are still relevant. If you have a non-traditional idea you are hoping would break the internet, you ought to gain tutelage from the masters in the game. There’s no better way to do that than to read the accounts of these businesses from books on the Headway app.

American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce G. Hoffman

Alan Mulally is singularly credited with bringing the Ford Motor company back from the brink of bankruptcy. If you wonder how this one-man army carried out this feat, this book answers all of your questions. As far as comebacks go, Mulally’s accomplishment with Ford goes down as one of the greatest in history. Reading this book or its summary on the Headway app will reveal all the gritty details.

Starting and running a business can be lonely. This is especially true if you do not have any sort of guidance. In fact, you are guaranteed to achieve much more with proper directives from others who have gone ahead of you. This is exactly what you gain with these books. They give honest accounts of the process employed by some of these founders and industry leaders. You can read these books from the Headway app to get a better picture of the hacks discussed here.

Let everyone know what you think!
Cool
Entertaining
Boring
Insightful