Learning from Biographies

As I've mentioned before, Patrick O'Shaughnessy is one of my favorite podcasters, and his flagship show, 'Invest Like the Best,' never disappoints. With a knack for hosting and for attracting interesting guests, each episode is a must-listen for me. Patrick's success led to the creation of Colossus, an umbrella brand that houses podcasts like 'Invest Like the Best' and a range of other valuable resources, including newsletters, opinion pieces, and more.

Recently, David Senra's 'Founders' podcast joined the Colossus family. Every week, Senra delves into the biography of an entrepreneur, extracting ideas that his audience can apply to their work. Each podcast episode, averaging about an hour, is a treasure trove of insights from his research. For instance, a recent episode explored Bernard Arnault, Chairman of LVMH, shedding light on how Arnault's unwillingness to compromise catapulted him to the top, making him the world's wealthiest person in the process. With over 300 episodes spanning six years, Senra's 'Founders' podcast offers something for everyone.

I've always enjoyed reading biographies cover-to-cover. They allow me to follow the subject's story arc, providing context and offering fresh perspectives. 'Steve Jobs' by Walter Isaacson is one such book for me, unraveling the complexities that shaped Jobs' leadership at every stage, from modest beginnings in a garage to the creation of the iPhone. It deepened my appreciation for how Jobs strengths (and weaknesses) drove the creation of the enduring great brand and company that is Apple. I highly recommend reading it or tuning into Founders episode #214, where David Senra dissects the book.

Biographies like these provide a powerful way to extract historical insights and convert them into modern strategies and tactics. Not only are they based on influential individuals, but they are carefully researched and authored by skilled biographers, offering entertaining stories and useful ideas. I believe that integrating lessons from great biographies creates an edge when navigating challenges, be it in the business world or in life.

Jump Start

Is there a challenging issue you're facing right now on which you could use some advice? Try this:

  1. Ask ChatGPT or your favorite search engine for some recommendations on biographies relating to your issue.
  2. Check the ratings and reviews on Goodreads or Amazon to identify well-regarded biographies.
  3. If time allows, order the book and enjoy! If not, search for podcasts like 'Founders,' which distill the essence of biographies into a condensed, informative format.