Warren Buffett Shares A Coke And A Smile At Business Wire’s Global Sales Meeting by Scott Fedonchik, Vice President of Marketing at Business Wire via LinkedIn
From building an enduring business to his love of the ukulele.
When asked about Business Wire’s durable competitive advantage, Warren Buffett listed off the four attributes that he associates with the company, “reputation, security, simultaneity and total reliability.” After three days in Santa Monica talking about our business strategy for the year ahead, it was music to our ears.
Mr. Buffett made a surprise visit to end our meeting and in a wide-ranging discussion — covering topics from parenthood, to how he built Berkshire Hathaway, to the Chinese economy, to his love of the ukulele — his insights were as brilliant as expected and as engaging as one could ever imagine.
As Business Wire moves into its 10th year as a Berkshire Hathaway company, Mr. Buffett and Business Wire CEO, Cathy Baron Tamraz, talked about their first telephone conversation and how easy it was to put a deal together. “When you find something good, latch onto it,” said Buffett. When asked what he looks for in purchasing a company, he said he looks for opportunities built around solid business fundamentals, quality people who love their company and a culture that looks to deliver strong services and value.
Mr. Buffett said, “Leave a smile on the customer’s faces. No business has ever failed with happy customers.” On his partnership with Cathy, he said, “She cares about Business Wire the way I care about Berkshire Hathaway.”
Addressing volatility in our competitive set, a recent sale and rumors of who might be for sale, he said, “When a financial buyer buys you, you’re there to be resold.” On Business Wire, he said, “We don’t have an exit strategy. There are no external pressures on us and we don’t have to adjust our principles. I wish I could buy five more like it!”
Warren Buffett also shared his love of playing bridge, learning to play the ukulele, and the value of tackling your weaknesses. A key piece of advice he gave that we can all hold onto, “Find what’s inside of you.” He mentioned an assignment he gives to students when he speaks to them; write down the three top attributes of people you most admire and three from people who you do not. Strive to emulate the three you admire and eliminate the three traits you do not. Simple and priceless advice!
As the meeting was ending, Mr. Buffett said he jumps out of bed every morning eager to start the day. “I get to do something I love every day, with people I love.” These words mirror how we at Business Wire start our day and a perfect sentiment for us all as we reset ourselves for the year ahead, push the business into new endeavors, and look to build upon the success that brought us to where we are today.