Lessons From Vanderbilt And Rockefeller: Know Your “One Big Thing”

Jesse Lipson offers a little history lesson on Forbes.com today as he explores how Cornelius Vanderbilt and John Rockefeller became tycoons (and changed the course of history) by holding to a business principle that’s still relevant today.

“With all of the media coverage about Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos, it’s easy to forget that many of the gutsiest moves in business history happened long before Bill Gates was even a twinkle in his mother’s eye,” Lipson writes.

Vanderbilt and Rockefeller each blazed trails by knowing what they did best and sticking to it — even when the times changed. “For Rockefeller, it was oil, whether for lamps or for cars. For Vanderbilt, it was transportation, whether ships or trains,” Lipson writes. “When confronted with new technologies, each focused on the one thing he knew best.”

Read Lipson’s full post here.

Follow Jesse’s column at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jesselipson