A Few Good Stories

This post is by Collab Fund from Collab Fund

I recently had lunch with a guy who’s close with Warren Buffett.

This guy – we’ll call him Jim (not his real name) – was driving around Omaha with Buffett in late 2009. The global economy was crippled at this point, and Omaha was no exception. Stores were closed, businesses were boarded up.

Jim said to Warren, “It’s so bad right now. How does the economy ever bounce back from this?”

Warren said, “Jim, do you know what the best-selling candy bar was in 1962?”

“No.” Jim said.

“Snickers bar,” said Warren.

“And do you know what the best-selling candy bar is today?” Warren said.

“No,” said Jim.

“Snickers bar,” said Warren.

Then silence. That was the end of the conversation.

I think what Buffett meant was: Focusing on what’s never going to change is more important than trying to anticipate how something might change.

Virtually everything was in short supply during World War II. The U.S. Army produced over 100 million uniforms to supply the Allies, which left little fabric left over for civilian clothes. It got worse in 1943 when the Army mandated that the synthetic material typically used in bathing suits had to be reserved for making military parachutes.

Clothing companies got creative by designing bathing suits with less and less fabric. One French designer named Louis Réard took it to the extreme, designing a bathing suit with as little fabric as he could get away with.

Réard introduced the new bathing suit in 1946. When deciding (Read more...)