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Today we have Elon Musk and Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. One hundred and fifty years ago we had Carnegie, Rockefeller, Gould and Morgan.
Today we have Tesla and Facebook and Google and Big Tech. One hundred and fifty years ago we had U.S. Steel and the Union Pacific and railroads and Standard Oil.
The names and industries have changed, but the tactics used by the financial titans remain the same. In Tycoons, Morris shares the rise of how each of the wealthiest men in 1900s America gained their fortunes in the late 1800s. How they used a mixture of genius, ruthless tactics, ingenuity, foresight and plenty of gray-area maneuvering around the law to create the economy as we know it. What is most fascinating to read about is how history repeats itself.
Just as Amazon needed web services and servers and so creates Amazon Web Services, so did oil need railways and rail cars to get their oil across the country, therefore they invested in railroads and steel and steel plants. The success in one industry demanded the domination of the ancillary industries the main company relied upon, and so they bought and bought and grew and grew until they became so large they dominated the economy. If you’re curious about what’s happening today in the world of tech and the modern monopolies of the 2020s…all you need to do is read about what happened in steel and oil and railroads in the 1880s. You think someone like Elon Musk has his hands in too many industries? Check out Jay Gould:
By 1883, Gould emerged in control of virtually the whole center of the country’s railroad system and was aggressively expanding into the West, Northwest and Southwest. He controlled Manhattan’s rapid transport system; he invested in newspapers, he was the primary owner of the Western Union company, meaning he dominated the national system of telegraphy.
Sound familiar? Highly recommended reading this.
Went to an old standby bodyweight workout this week. Hadn’t done it in a while. It’s simple and awesome. I think it may be a CrossFit workout but I don’t remember if that’s where I got it from. Here it is:
15 air squats
beginner: 5 times
intermediate: 10 times
meathead: 15 to 20 times
I love it because you get a great sweat and full body burn in about 25 minutes, even if you do it 15 times. You also rack up some cool numbers. Never hurts to start the day by banking 75 pull-ups, 150 push-ups and 225 air squats
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I never notice what is said about me. I am credited with things I have never done, and abused for them. It would be idle to attempt to contradict newspaper talk and street rumors.”
- Jay Gould
Stopped into the Barnes & Noble by FAU’s campus for a meeting this week and was delighted to find 1996 on a shelf with some of my writing friends and favorite authors. Snapped this great shot here.
I’ve been a Cormac McCarthy fan for a long time…and I had no idea he didn’t get his first mainstream break until he was almost 60. Did a deep dive and put together a cool twitter thread here about his unique, long-haul to success here.
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