How to Become the Richest Person in America
John Jacob Astor started off by just setting up a shop that sold music equipment in a room in his in-law's house, but went on to achieve phenomenal success in all the businesses he operated in. His career can be summarized as below :
Early career :
Arrived in US at the age of 20 in 1784
Worked several jobs, prior to starting employment with Robert Browne, a furrier.
In 1785 married Sarah, who had an eye for business. She looked after the music shop helped him in the fur business.
Fur trading :
By 1788, Astor started making regular trips to buy fur to the back country of New York and also an annual trip to Montreal.
By 1790, he developed a network of agents and correspondents who handled everyday tasks for him, so that he could focus on bigger picture.
This shows that he wanted to delegate work in order to expand his business and focus on business development rather than tending to day to day matters.
By 1807, Astor devised a two-point plan to diminish the dominancy of two Canadian fur trading companies in North America.
He would start operating into the newly opened area of Pacific Northwest, where Canadians hadn't achieved much penetration.
This shows Astor's urge to reach and expand beyond current market or rather create a new market to take business forward. He did his area mapping to knew where the Canadians were placed in that territory.
Second part was that he would use his growing supply of capital to organize American fur trade in interior of the continent. This way Astor ensured that he would have ample supply of fur and profit from both production and marketing of fur.
Here Astor is leveraging...