Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat. – THEODORE ROOSEVELT, 1899
Built to Last is a great book that outlines the results of a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, conducted by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras. The book explores what leads to enduringly great companies, the authors examined eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day — as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations.
Built to Last is one of the most influential business books have read multiple times as the concepts in the book is evergreen: Clock Building, vs Time Telling, Preserve the Core / Stimulate Progress, Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs), Try a Lot of Stuff and Keep What works, Cult-Like cultures, among others.
Here are my favourite take aways from reading, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins:
The study found a negative correlation between early entrepreneurial success and becoming a highly visionary company. The long race goes to the tortoise, not the hare,