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#229 Sidney Harman (Harman Kardon)
January 30th, 2022 | E229

What I learned from reading Mind Your Own Business: A Maverick's Guide to Business, Leadership and Life by Sidney Harman


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[3:46] Foxes and Hedgehogs

[7:17] The thing with Hedgehogs is that they never give up. They keep at it – and they don’t ever get bored because they just love what they do – and they have a lot of fun along the way.

[8:27] In the Company of Giants: Candid Conversations With the Visionaries of the Digital World

[9:38] “The essence of commitment is making a decision. The Latin root for decision is to ‘cut away from,’ as in an incision. When you commit to something, you are cutting away all your other possibilities, all your other options”  From the book The Lombardi Rules: 26 Lessons from Vince Lombardi—The World's Greatest Coach

[11:16] The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story by Michael Lewis

[13:12] I regard myself as guardian of the company’s soul.

[15:05] Steve Jobs liked to say the Beatles were his management model—four guys who kept each other in check and produced something great.

[15:50] Avoid recklessness, encourage daring.

[18:08] His main point here is the fact that he started the company in defiance of conventional wisdom

[24:08] Bloomberg by Bloomberg

[26:16] I believe that refusing to accept business orthodoxy uncritically can open your eyes to opportunity.

[34:56] We were free to follow our best instincts. We were free to bring totally new thinking to what we were doing.

[38:44] Treat hard work and your smarts respectfully, but recognize that they are neither decisive nor do they guarantee anything. Most of all, I told myself, don’t underestimate determination and persistence, and never quit.

[40:25] Becoming Trader Joe: How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys

[41:51] I loved building a business. What could be better? The products were wonderful. They employed technology wisely. They made beautiful music. My instinct for marketing—for selling, for emotive advertising—was not only indulged, but rewarded.

[43:00] Mavericks do not play well with others.

[55:12] It did not require a genius to recognize that I was looking at the future.

[58:34] Reducing business matters to their essence, whittling away that which obscures or is unnecessary, has served me well. I admire greatly those who practice the art.

[59:48] A company requires an articulated mission, a philosophical base, a moral compass, critical judgment, and the realization that it is a dynamic, living instrument populated by complex human beings.

[1:05:05] The best leaders are catalysts who prompt others to reach beyond their most natural abilities to find something they had previously thought beyond their reach.

[1:18:03] I have found that by insisting on simple explanations, the mystery disappears and with it most of the nonsense.

[1:23:12] It is vital that everyone know what business he is in.

[1:28:23] Opportunity can be attacked with enthusiasm.

[1:30:01] The person who invests in writing, who exercises the discipline to do it well, and who uses it frequently, will possess a matchless instrument for discovery, clarity, and persuasion.


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