2 minute read / Jul 23, 2023 / books /
The Pilgrims Raised 4 Rounds of Financing
The Pilgrims who journeyed across the Atlantic to colonize America raised four rounds of financing sent via ship each year during the summer.
The second round of financing, the Series A, was the hardest to raise because the colonists missed plan : pirates pillaged their beaver pelts.
Free delivery to rural Americans created the retail catalog boom of the 1890s pioneered by Aaron Montgomery Ward. Catalog fraud soon blossomed.
To compete with Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, Charles Post founded a wellness clinic in Battle Creek, Michigan, which served Grape Nuts as a breakfast. The two companies would pivot to form two great cereal giants that would co-opt medical marketing techniques claiming to cure cancer with corn flakes to grow.
The 1883 headline “Horse injured by Electricity” parallels today’s headlines Self-Driving Car Involved in Hit & Run & echoes the worries about novel technologies during their infancy.
Ford Motor Company generated 28% net income margins on his cars. He started at the premium end of the market & moved down with scale : the Model A, B, C, F. Both the naming scheme & the roll-out strategy inspired Tesla. The company’s profitability fueled share-buybacks, consolidating power to the founder, Henry Ford.
“In the starkly deflationary climate of 1894, it was hard to get a man to understand that a wage cut could still be a raise, as the prices of food & goods had dropped even more.”
Baseball & boxing broadcasts were the killer app for radio. RCA placed radios in Time Square & bars all over the country to wow & create demand.
Americana, a book by Bhu Srinivasan, embeds these hazelnuts of history in a book that chronicles capitalism in America over 400 years.
More than that, the book highlights the persistent pattern of bold plans, executed by brave souls, financed by adventure capitalists in search of fame, fortune, & business monopolies.
Understanding history is a competitive advantage. This book is a good start.