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#296 Bernard Arnault (The Richest Man in the World)
March 27th, 2023 | E296

What I learned from reading The Taste of Luxury: Bernard Arnault and the Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton Story by Nadege Forestier and Nazanine Ravai.


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[1:16] I am the boss. I shall be here on Monday morning and I shall be running the company in person.

[4:30] The Taste of Luxury: Bernard Arnault and the Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton Story by Nadege Forestier and Nazanine Ravai

[5:01] I highly recommend listening to Acquired’s episode on LVMH. It is excellent.

[5:16] Business Breakdowns episode LVMH: The Wolf in Cashmere’s Conglomerate

[6:16] Napoleon: A Concise Biography by David Bell. (Founders #294)

[6:18] Mind of Napoleon: A Selection of His Written and Spoken Words by Napoleon and J. Christopher Herold.

[7:20] I’m not so dominant that I can’t listen to creative ideas coming from other people. Successful people listen. Those who don’t listen, don’t survive long. — Driven From Within by Michael Jordan (Founders #213)

[9:00] “I am very competitive. I always want to win.” —Bernard Arnault

[10:39] What I'm interested is in doing.

[11:43] He believed in extreme discretion.

[11:56] I Had Dinner With Charlie Munger (Founders #295)

[16:17] Beneath his civilized appearance there lurked the spirit of an adventurer. He wanted more.

[17:45] He wanted to go far. He had an iron will. At a laboriously won tennis match he said “I may lose once but I never lose twice.” —Bernard Arnault

[19:45] Problems are just opportunities in work clothes.

[23:30] Arnault remained inflexible. He wanted control. There was no question of his becoming the Willots’ partner.

[24:15] Far from discouraging him, this consensus of opinion (that this would lead to failure) acted as a stimulus.

[24:25] “I remember people telling me, it does not make sense to put together so many brands. And it was a success, it was a recognized success, and for the last 10 years now, every competitor is trying to imitate. I think they are not successful, but they try.” —Bernard Arnault

[30:43] “In business, I think the most important thing is to position yourself for long-term and not be too impatient, which I am by nature, and I have to control myself.” —Bernard Arnault

[33:35] He had such an appetite for victory and such a capacity for work that he was bound to succeed.

[35:26] “People think of politicians having true power, but that’s less and less true. After all, they are often constrained or being edged into a corner by a whole series of contingencies ... I’m lucky in that I can say, ‘I want my group to be in such and such a situation in 10 or 20 years’ time’ and then formulate a plan to make that happen.” –Bernard Arnault

[42:37] Those on the margins often come to control the center.

[43:10] Invest Like the Best episode Doug Leone —Lessons From A Titan

[48:31] Difference for the sake of it. In everything. Because it must be better. From the moment the idea strikes, to the running of the business. Difference, and retention of total control. — Against The Odds: An Autobiography by James Dyson (Founders #200)

[1:01:20] My relationship to luxury goods is really very rational. It is the only area in which it is possible to make luxury profit margins.

[1:02:45] Arnault wants to take power everywhere and immediately.

[1:07:40] Arnault is an iron fist in an iron glove.

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