Charlie Munger, Warren’s partner in running Berkshire Hathaway, has devoted a lifetime to gathering ideas and thinking about the big issues. Far from being solely focused on investment he believes firmly in the importance of informing your thinking by having a terrific range of mental models drawing on the significant ideas from a range of intellectual disciplines, from engineering to psychology, from accounting to biology. These ideas are valuable in their own right, but by increasing the number of tools in your toolbox you can avoid the problem of the man with a hammer, who sees every problem as a nail. This helps tremendously when examining business situations. This book is a collection of ideas expressed in answers to questions at annual meetings, speeches and the writings of Munger, brilliantly brought together by Peter D. Kaufman in a coffee table book style. Full of profound and witty insight, but and not intellectually burdensome. I read two pages each day, just to remind myself of the most important things needed at the forefront of the mind when thinking about capital allocation (and many other aspects of life).
Don Keough follows his friend’s Charlie Munger’s advice to ‘invert, always invert’. So, to teach us how to succeed in business he expertly and entertainingly focuses on the things you should do if you aim to fail, ranging from ‘Quit taking risks’ to ‘Be afraid of the future’. In this short volume Keough distils decades of experience (ultimately as President of Coca Cola) of making blunders, observing the blunders of others and of triumphs to convey the really important things all business leaders should know. Warren Buffett has so much respect for Keough and his clear thinking that he wrote the foreword (they formed a friendship in the 1960s in Omaha, when both were much more junior).