#33/111: 1,000 Dollars & an Idea

What is it about?

Sam Wyly talks about his journey from a young boy in Lake Providence to a billionaire in Texas. Most of the book is dedicated to University Computing his first company which sold processing time to companies.

Key points?

Quality of the journey: Success isn’t how much money you made, it’s how happy you were. Sam Wyly dropped his job at IBM for starting his own company because he was restless. He gave up his security for uncertainty and debt but he was happy.

Hire complementary people: Although, he made his fortune in software, Wyly wasn’t really into programming but he knew how to sell. Sterling Software, a company founded after selling University Computers for $3.3bn, consisted of over 30 acquired software companies. These companies weren’t really merged into one big company. Rather they existed as own sub companies. Only financial planning, accounting, etc. was centralized.

Be in motion: A problem of IBM and other giants is that the are mostly rigid. This allows small companies/startups to penetrate new markets faster and often these giants are too slow to anticipate change in existing markets. Don’t become a rigid, stay agile.

Size doesn’t matter: The first big acquisition of Sterling Software was Informatics which was valued at $200m. Sterling Software, at this time, valued only about $30m but Wyly wanted to acquire Informatics. Sterling Software acquired Informatics because they raised about $180m in cash from issuing junk bonds. Sometimes size doesn’t matter.


It’s a refreshing book, especially because lots of people think that every successful software company started in California (Microsoft didn’t either, by the way). For readers without a small finance background it is maybe a bit confusing because Wyly talks a lot about financial instruments. All in all, a neat biography about a not so well-known billionaire.

#23/111: Grinding It Out

What is it about?

I have always believed that each man makes his own happiness and is responsible for his own problems. That’s the first sentence in this book and Ray Kroc meant it. He describes his pursuit of happiness from a piano player to the chairman of McDonald’s.

Key points?

You are responsible for your own life: In the early years a franchisee opened a McDonald’s restaurant nearly to some other burger restaurant. The other restaurant offered burgers for 10 cents each (15 cents at McDonald’s) but people got their fries and milk shakes at McDonald’s. After a while the other restaurant lowered all prices to 10 cents. The manager of McDonald’s called Ray Kroc and asked if he should inform the Center for Combating Unfair Competition. Ray Kroc said: “No, make burger which are worth 15 cents.”

Stay Green: Basically you should try to get not too conservative or too comfortable. “When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.” Try new things, be open and don’t afraid of failure. At McDonald’s they introduce a lot of new meals, some fail, some prosper (e.g. the BigMac).

QSC and V: Quality, Service, Cleanness and Value these are the main values of McDonald’s. They are easily portable to other businesses.


What a great book! I love how Ray Kroc impersonates the American Dream. He worked hard, he took responsibility for himself and he helped other people to reach their dreams. Definitely a recommendation!

Your life in bytes

saturated writing by tnarik

Grandma blogs. Your neighbor blogs. A cat blogs. But why should someone blog?
To be hip? Perhaps. To tell wisdoms? Maybe. To make money? Sometimes.
Firstly, there are various kinds of blogs. I distinguish them approximately in private and cooperate blogs. I want to talk about private blogs.

People talk about their pets, work, private life or hobby. But why should they blog about it?
If you go to your local bookshop (or an online one) you’ll find always one book for nearly every topic imaginable.
OK, books aren’t that topical as blogs. But books offers mostly more information.
If it’s not about raw information then it’s maybe about personal stories. Maybe you’re interested in the life of a Second Officer or an marketing specialist. Is this the key to the why?
So, I asked me: “Sure some people are interested in the life of an marketing specialist but not in this of Average Joe.”. Would you buy a book titled “My Life As A Normal Guy“? Maybe not. People want something special, they want things they don’t have or they dreaming about. Remember Hollywood?

Thus, should you blog? Yes, you haven’t to become one a pro bloggers with 250k readers. Tell your story. Even if nobody will read it, it’s your own small biography.