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#304 : Sol Price (The Founder Who Taught Jim Sinegal, Sam Walton, Jeff Bezos, Bernie Marcus)
May 21st, 2023 | E304

What I learned from reading Sol Price: Retail Revolutionary by Robert Price. 


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[6:50] He believed in developing strong operating efficiencies, and he continually emphasized passing on savings to customers.

[8:48] It's pretty incredible to think about that Sol's ideas have created trillions of dollars of value.

[11:18] You can always understand the son by the story of his father. The story of the father is embedded in the son. —Francis Ford Coppola: A Filmmaker's Life by Michael Schumacher. (Founders #242)

[14:00] Stephen King on the belief and support he received from his wife: “Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference”— Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir of the Craftby Stephen King. (Founders #210)

[16:00] True education is gained through the discipline of life. —Henry Ford

[19:45] Sol kept a small sign in his office: “Do it now.”

[24:00] Sol finds an idea future generations of entrepreneurs will use: A membership retail store targeted to a specific niche.

[24:45] When you have people driving far distances to save money that is a very good sign. — Sam Walton: Made In America by Sam Walton. (Founders #234)

[26:45] Daniel Ek interview on the Acquired podcast

[39:10] If you’re not spending 90% of your time teaching, you’re not doing your job. —Jim Sinegal.

[39:45] You train an animal, you teach a person.

[40:00] He was not a fan of training manuals because he believed that manuals were a substitute for thinking.

[43:00] What does limited selection have to do with efficiency? Because payroll and benefits represent 80% of a retailer’s cost of operations, pricing advantage follows labor productivity. Fewer items result in reduced labor hours throughout all of the product supply channels. Put simply, the cost to deal with 4,500 items is a lot less than the cost to deal with 50,000 items.

[50:21] The operating efficiencies of the warehouse concept and the direct delivery of products from the suppliers to Price Club made it possible to sell merchandise for less.

[55:00] Costco and Sam's were expanding aggressively while Price Club remained tentative.

[1:03:30] Sol was a poster child for the American dream. His immigrant parents were born in a small Russian village. Sol was the first in his family to graduate college. He earned a law degree. He became an exceptionally successful businessman and philanthropist, celebrated 70 years of marriage, was a good father who instilled high values in his sons, and he never walked away from responsibility. It doesn’t get much better than that.


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