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#341 Cornelius Vanderbilt (Tycoon's War)
March 11th, 2024 | E341

What I learned from rereading Tycoon's War: How Cornelius Vanderbilt Invaded a Country to Overthrow America's Most Famous Military Adventurer by Stephen Dando-Collins. 


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(0:01) Vanderbilt was only interested in two things: making money and winning

(3:00) Cornelius Vanderbilt, the descendant of poor Dutch immigrants, would die in 1877 possessing more money than was held by the United States treasury.
(3:00) The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles

(5:00) The NEW Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charlie Munger. (Founders #329) 

(6:00) “If I had learned education. I would not have had time to learn anything else.”

(7:00) Vanderbilt wrote nothing down, keeping every detail of his business dealings in his head, and at any given time he knew his income and expenditures down to the last cent.

(10:00) From Founders Notes. I asked the chat feature:

Tell me about Cornelius Vanderbilt. How did he make his money?

One trait it identified in Vanderbilt was this:

Vanderbilt's approach to business was often marked by a sly concealment of his intentions, keeping information close while simultaneously gathering intelligence on competitors. This strategic obfuscation allowed him to make moves that others often couldn't predict or comprehend until it was too late

(This feature will be available to Founders Notes subscribers very soon!)

(15:00) The Invisible Billionaire: Daniel Ludwig by Jerry Shields (Founders #292)

(24:00) The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley by Jimmy Soni. (Founders #233) 

(26:00) Gentlemen, you have undertaken to cheat me. I won’t sue you, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you. Yours truly, Cornelius Vanderbilt.

(37:00) He's turning everyone against Walker by appealing to their interests. He’s not saying do this for me to get my ships back. He appeals to their interests and aligns their interests with his own.

(40:00) Vanderbilt had more money than all the Central American governments combined.

(41:00) As far as my nature is concerned, I do not meet competition, I destroy competitors.

The 38 Letters from J.D. Rockefeller to His Son by John D. Rockefeller. (Founders #324)

(41:00) Vanderbilt said why don’t you pay me to not compete with you?


Get access to the World’s Most Valuable Notebook for Founders at Founders Notes


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