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Any Objectivist businesspeople?

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Hi all,

I want to know if any businessperson has claimed to follow Objectivism and has conducted his business successfully. I know of Jimmy Wales of wikipedia.org, who is an Objectivist, but is he the only one or are there other successful Objectivist businesspersons?

Thanks,

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Hi all,

I want to know if any businessperson has claimed to follow Objectivism and has conducted his business successfully. I know of Jimmy Wales of wikipedia.org, who is an Objectivist, but is he the only one or are there other successful Objectivist businesspersons?

Thanks,

I am not certain what you mean. I have known quite a few, but suspect that by successful you mean very wealthy. In which case it is difficult to answer. There are a number of well known admirers of Ayn Rand RUSH, angelina jolie and brad pitt, hillary clinton, Putin, but many will argue as to whether or not they are Objectivists with a capital "O". Nothing precludes an objectivist from being a successful businessman. That being said, if you limit the term Objectivist to refer to intellectuals directly associated with ARI then you are dealing with a fairly small number of people, primarily located in academia rather then the corporate world. Out of that group I do know that Yaron Brooke was involved in a couple successful businesses prior to taking over ARI and I believe John Lewis owned or owns a construction company.

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Jeff Alison is the chairman and CEO of BB&T which has over $100 billion in investments. He's a major contributor to ARI.

Also, he derived the business philosophy of his company directly from the Objectivist ethics.

http://www.bbt.com/bbt/about/philosophy/values.html

Edited by GreedyCapitalist

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Jeff Alison is the chairman and CEO of BB&T which has over $100 billion in investments. He's a major contributor to ARI.

Also, he derived the business philosophy of his company directly from the Objectivist ethics.

http://www.bbt.com/bbt/about/philosophy/values.html

I forgot about him.

Also Steve Ditko co-creator of spiderman

http://www.adherents.com/people/pd/Steve_Ditko.html

And Alan Greenspan. Again arguably not an objectivist.

Edited by aequalsa

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Other than Alison, I've heard of 3 or 4 other multi-millionaire businesspeople who are major ARI contributors. If one includes Rand-admirers like Rogers the list will grow pretty fast to include folks like Mark Cuban, and a host of others. There are also some small business people who are Objectivists.

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Also Steve Ditko co-creator of spiderman

That's surprising. I was watching one of the Spiderman movies the other day and I was taken aback by how often selflessness/self sacrifice is preached. Then again, that is clearly Stan Lee's influence, maybe Ditko didn't have anything to do with the movies. Do you have any idea, aequalsa?

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That's surprising. I was watching one of the Spiderman movies the other day and I was taken aback by how often selflessness/self sacrifice is preached. Then again, that is clearly Stan Lee's influence, maybe Ditko didn't have anything to do with the movies. Do you have any idea, aequalsa?

No, I don't. I'm not real big on comic books. I do remember seeing an issue though, where peter parker had a copy of atlas shrugged on his desk in his room.

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Hi all,

I want to know if any businessperson has claimed to follow Objectivism and has conducted his business successfully. I know of Jimmy Wales of wikipedia.org, who is an Objectivist, but is he the only one or are there other successful Objectivist businesspersons?

Thanks,

Me! ;)

Ok, well I'm a middle manager so I'm not sure that means too much, but my colleagues know I'm a full lasseiz faire type. I aspire to prominence some day. ;)

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very wealthy. In which case it is difficult to answer. There are a number of well known admirers of Ayn Rand RUSH, angelina jolie and brad pitt, hillary clinton, Putin, but many will argue as to whether or not they are Objectivists with a capital "O". Nothing precludes an objectivist from being a successful

When I read Clinton's name on this list, my jaw nearly dropped to the floor. Where did you get this information? THat woman is the epitomy of what Ayn Rand considers evil!

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When I read Clinton's name on this list, my jaw nearly dropped to the floor. Where did you get this information? THat woman is the epitomy of what Ayn Rand considers evil!

Last I read, Hillary had said she'd read Atlas or TF at a younger age, and already been through her "Rand phase" and moved on.

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Thanks all for your replies. I would define a successful businessman as one who has made a profit over some investment. But I guess, "successful" can be defined with respect to many other aspects too.

Me!

Ok, well I'm a middle manager so I'm not sure that means too much, but my colleagues know I'm a full lasseiz faire type. I aspire to prominence some day.

Depends on what you define as successful businessperson, but I consider myself one.

KendallJ and bobsponge, nice to hear of your successes! :nuke:

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I would say that success as a business owner requires earning a rate of return on invested capital greater than the market rate. One is not necessarily losing money if he earns a lesser rate of return, but liquidating one's assets and putting them into an index fund would be a better way to invest one's money.

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When I read Clinton's name on this list, my jaw nearly dropped to the floor. Where did you get this information? THat woman is the epitomy of what Ayn Rand considers evil!

It is my understanding that Hillary Clinton was an ardent supporter of Barry Goldwater when she was in high school. Perhaps this is when she was into Ayn Rand? I suspect that she also gleaned inspiration from Ayn Rand to pursue a career as a working woman as opposed to becoming a self-sacrifing wife with no ambition of her own.

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I would say that success as a business owner requires earning a rate of return on invested capital greater than the market rate. One is not necessarily losing money if he earns a lesser rate of return, but liquidating one's assets and putting them into an index fund would be a better way to invest one's money.

I don't think this is a good standard. In my own case, with my construction business I have had an increase in gross from last year to this, well above the stock market average, but have had no increase in profit, due largely to reinvestment in equipment, etc. I am not sure what a good standard could be without being somewhat arbitrary, but I think it would have to hinge on the overall improvement of the company in some way.

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I don't think this is a good standard. In my own case, with my construction business I have had an increase in gross from last year to this, well above the stock market average, but have had no increase in profit, due largely to reinvestment in equipment, etc. I am not sure what a good standard could be without being somewhat arbitrary, but I think it would have to hinge on the overall improvement of the company in some way.
In construction, a company's gross sales are virtually meaningless in the following sense: When jobs are competitively bid, what really counts is being able to do the work profitably. I've seen construction companies double their sales from year to year and nearly go out of business because the work they were doing was unprofitable.

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In construction, a company's gross sales are virtually meaningless in the following sense: When jobs are competitively bid, what really counts is being able to do the work profitably. I've seen construction companies double their sales from year to year and nearly go out of business because the work they were doing was unprofitable.

I agree that you could increase gross sales and go out of business, but disagree strongly that gross sales are meaningless. After deriving a salary, you can increase the capacity of the company to be more productive and profitable in the future. I consider taking profits out of a business to only be a good idea when you can no longer use it to make a company grow. Similiar to the payout of dividends in larger publicly held companies. If a company can reinvest in such a way that increases the value of the company, they typically do not pay out dividends. But if their value levels off, due to market saturation or whatever, then they begin paying dividends.

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I would say that success as a business owner requires earning a rate of return on invested capital greater than the market rate.

I don't think this is a good standard...

Return in the form of net worth and income are the standard for business qua buisness as the OP seems to be asking, but not a complete standard for success as a person. Aeqaulsa, I think you (may) have been more successful by this standard (business qua business) from last year to this. You just haven't properly valued (in explicit economics, clearly you see the value) your increase in Pc (production capability) . However, Pc can be hard to quantify. I obviously can't say for sure though if you have been more successful, since I don't know if you have positive or negative equity in this new equipment, how much your other equipment depreciated, how much your income actually increased and decreased, and whether or not your increased Pc was sufficient to offset negative factors.

Edit:

I consider taking profits out of a business to only be a good idea when you can no longer use it to make a company grow.

Ack, was reading & posting when you posted this. Agree, mostly. When you can no longer use it to make the company more profitable at a rate which exceeds the returns you could otherwise be earning in the market. In short, when returns exceed opportunity cost.

Edited by Nate

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I agree that you could increase gross sales and go out of business, but disagree strongly that gross sales are meaningless.
And I'd also agree that gross sales aren't meaningless, which is why I added the context that the revenue has to be profitable.

After deriving a salary, you can increase the capacity of the company to be more productive and profitable in the future. I consider taking profits out of a business to only be a good idea when you can no longer use it to make a company grow. Similiar to the payout of dividends in larger publicly held companies. If a company can reinvest in such a way that increases the value of the company, they typically do not pay out dividends. But if their value levels off, due to market saturation or whatever, then they begin paying dividends.
This is the classic problem that confronts the management of every profitable business. Do they believe that earnings re-invested in the company can earn a higher rate of return than is available in the market? If so, then dividends should not be paid and the earnings should be retained to finance new investments, growth, etc...

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