I am not sure that narratives of how to become a billionaire, especially the ‘self-made‘ type, are helpful. Apart from working 16 to 18 hours per day, especially at boring and low-skill tasks, and meeting customers that assist in rapid and expensive expansion of physical plant, there are the practical skills and enhanced understandings demanded of management, including inspection and oversight responsibiities. Does becoming adept in the analysis of operations, investment, and finance as they bear on one’s proprietary business development comprise an essential part of becoming a ‘self-made’ billionaire, especially by one’s early- to mid-forties? Is learning the intricacies of governance and management of large scale commercial enterprises dependent on experiencing and negotiating through long periods of formal study and/or repeated trial-and-error involving numerous conflict resolutions and goal divergences? Does getting the right individuals to support one’s ‘self-made’ project demand anything in particular in the ways of skill, inquiry, and analysis? Is there an off-the-shelf product that can be inexpensively purchased to generate huge returns from initial public offerings leveraging this know-how?
By way of analogy, how many successful baseball hitters needed training in the development and interpretation of sets of mutually explanatory four-dimensional graphs depicting probable trajectories of pitches thrown by innumerable baseball pitchers over years of ball-playing, including instruction in how to alter the plane of one’s swing to solidly meet these pitches with the sweet spot of one’s bat? I suppose that this analogy is not helpful. I also suppose that while great hitters may study and reflect, especially from failing generally at least seven times of 10, the effects of year-over-year practice may impart something to the hitter’s technology that formal graphical analyses do not.
The technology of becoming extraordinarily rich, as well as the technology of becoming a great and consistent baseball hitter, seems still hidden (or at least not in the public domain). Is this algorithmic information copyrighted, patented, or subject to trade secret by multi-billion dollar enterprises and individuals? By the way, doesn’t becoming a billionaire require getting the oodles of assets’ values from someone else (consider what are they getting in return?) Alternatively, can we merely mark-to-model and become a billionaire overnight, temporarily?
I fear the technology of becoming a self-made billionaire is more a mystery than a puzzle (see the jigsaw-type, requiring only patience and diligent trial-and-error). There’s something there that was not said, a key omitted variable, that perhaps renders the project more a matter of being in the right place and time (compare luck – an attribute needed not only by the talented and already rich) than an outcome of applied critical thinking and conventional problem-solving. Anyway, hoarding all of that value may not be good thing (easy to write from the outside).