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#333 Red Bull's Billionaire Maniac Founder: Dietrich Mateschitz
January 8th, 2024 | E333

What I learned from reading The Red Bull Story by Wolfgang Fürweger and Red Bull's Billionaire Maniac by Duff McDonald. 


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(1:30) "In literal financial terms, our sports teams are not yet profitable, but in value terms, they are," he says. "The total editorial media value plus the media assets created around the teams are superior to pure advertising expenditures."

(2:30) "It is a must to believe in one's product. If this were just a marketing gimmick, it would never work."

(5:00) He doesn't place a premium on collecting friends or socializing: "I don't believe in 50 friends. I believe in a smaller number. Nor do I care about society events. It's the most senseless use of time. When I do go out, from time to time, it's just to convince myself again that I'm not missing a lot."

(7:30) The most dangerous thing for a branded product is low interest. (Edwin Land: The test of an invention is the power of an inventor to push it through in the face of the staunch-not opposition, but indifference-in society. (Indifference is your enemy)

(9:00) Nike, Adidas and Vans episodes:

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight. (Founders #186)

Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and Puma and The Family Feud That Forever Changed The Business of Sports by Barbara Smit. (Founders #109)

Authentic: A Memoir by the Founder of Vans by Paul Van Doren. (Founders #216)

(11:00) The lines between Red Bull, Red Bull athletes, and Red Bull events are blurry on purpose. To Mateschitz, it's just one big image campaign with many manifestations.

(12:00) He has no plans to sell or take Red Bull public. "It's not a question of money. It's a question of fun. Can you imagine me in a shareholders' meeting?”

(13:00) Red Bull’s Billionaire Maniac

(16:00) He is universally described as a person with great charisma.

(16:30) The Invisible Billionaire: Daniel Ludwig by Jerry Shields. (Founders 292)

(17:00) He has a fierce desire for privacy. He buys a society magazine to make sure he never appears in it.

(22:00) There is no market for Red Bull. We will create one.

(24:00) Estée Lauder: A Success Story by Estée Lauder.  (Founders #217)

(30:00) the NEW Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charlie Munger. (Founders #329)

(31:00) Gossip and malicious rumors are worth more than the most expensive publicity campaign in the world.” — Dior by Dior: The Autobiography of Christian Dior (Founders #331)

(36:00) Control your costs and maintain financial discipline even when making record profits.

(38:00) Cult brands have their own laws, otherwise they would not be cultish.

(38:00) Red Bull is Dietrich Mateschitz and Dietrich Mateschitz is Red Bull.

(38:00) Many companies outsource their marketing and advertising activity. Red Bull consistently took the opposite route: It outsourced production and distribution and takes care of sales and advertising itself.

(40:00) Charlie Munger and John Collison on Invest Like The Best #355 

Rolex: Timeless Excellence on Invest Like The Best 

(41:00) If you are making a physical product make it look different from its competitors from the start.

(43:00) Everything is marketing.

(45:00) Never do anything that compromises your survival.

(46:00) He keeps his empire constantly in motion

(46:00) All corporate projects like Formula 1, football, Air Race, and media serve the core business: the sale of the energy drink.

(47:00) This is a battle for attention.

(49:00) Red Bull owns their events. They never relinquish media rights to any event. They invest in making the content and then they give their content to other media distributors for free. A very clever way to multiply their advertising and marketing spend.

(52:00) The Bugatti Story by L’Ebe Bugatti. (Founders #316)

The Dream of Solomeo: My Life and the Idea of Humanistic Capitalism by Brunello Cucinelli. (Founders #289)

(54:00) Why he moved Red Bull’s headquarters to a little village on a lake: The aim was to create a more pleasant working atmosphere.

(54:00) On why fitness is so important to him: “Everything that gives me pleasure in life is connected with a certain physical fitness and physical well-being. I like going to the mountain, I like skiing, I like sailing, I like riding a motorbike, I like fooling around - and everything is connected with a minimum of physical agility, motor skills, dexterity, strength, stamina. In order to enjoy it outdoors, I need the indoor program.”


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