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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good read!
I didn't really expect to like this book. Afterall, what could be so compelling about some guy who started a bunch of discount stores in Arkansas? Boy, was I wrong. This book is a jewel. It's a must read for anyone in business, whether a small business or a big corporation. You'll never look at a store the same way again after you read this book. You can easily...
Published on 14 May 1998

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self-serving autobio of a truly great entrepreneur
Walton's story is certainly worth reading. He built a business - now the biggest in the world - that can only be described as the work of a genius.

The great virtue of this book is the portrait of his mind: he was utterly obsessed with retailing and bent a truly formidable energy to think about it at almost every working hour of the day. It may sound corny, but...
Published on 28 Aug 2011 by rob crawford


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good read!, 14 May 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
I didn't really expect to like this book. Afterall, what could be so compelling about some guy who started a bunch of discount stores in Arkansas? Boy, was I wrong. This book is a jewel. It's a must read for anyone in business, whether a small business or a big corporation. You'll never look at a store the same way again after you read this book. You can easily believe that Sam Walton's approach would improve most business. Work hard. Work smart. Learn from your mistakes. Treat people right (employees and customers). Keep your eye on the ball and the bottom line. Don't listen to naysayers. Keep a smile on your face. Sounds like good advice to me!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self-serving autobio of a truly great entrepreneur, 28 Aug 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
Walton's story is certainly worth reading. He built a business - now the biggest in the world - that can only be described as the work of a genius.

The great virtue of this book is the portrait of his mind: he was utterly obsessed with retailing and bent a truly formidable energy to think about it at almost every working hour of the day. It may sound corny, but he reminds me of Miles Davis, who lived, breathed and ate his music. Walton looked at things from every angle, learning as he worked and unafraid to walk into a competitor's office unannounced with a tennis racket to talk. He was a showman and true believer, but also focused maniacally on operations and implementation. (About this, he pontificates about his competitors enjoying the trappings of success to the detriment of their attention to business - surely this is true in some cases, but repeatedly hearing it gets a bit boring.)

The business model he created is simple: always offer the lowest price possible, depending on higher volume to generate higher profit. The second pillar was to relentlessly pursue logistical superiority, in both a distribution system and computer-aided controls, enabling Wal-Mart to continually enhance its efficiency and speed of delivery. As the company grew, it was able to use its power to force suppliers to sell at ever-lower prices. Its stores spread slowly, oozing out like molasses, always supported by the distribution system. The third pillar, which in my opinion is exaggerated to the point of self-delusion, is the "family" aspect of employees (or "associates"), both as members of a store and in relation to customers. Certainly there is something to that, but it is far more limited than he seems to be aware of. Throughout, Walton offers many invaluable recommendations for business men and entrepreneurs. THere is no question he was one of the best.

The great failure of the book is Walton's inability to reflect on the impact of his company. Rather than taking the arguments of critics to heart honestly in the slightest, he dismisses them as people who moved to cities and are merely nostalgic about their childhoods in rural towns that have changed in no way because of his business practices. He also refuses to contemplate the impact of his company's power to act as a monopsony (sole buyer), forcing conditions on suppliers that can ruin them. That is one of the great changes in 20C capitalism: the shift of power of retailers to the detriment of manufacturers and suppliers, which Wal-Mart pioneered. Finally, he views unions exclusively as divisive influences rather than legitimate players and potential allies. In this, he shows little realistic empathy whatsoever regarding employees who don't appreciate their position or treatment in his stores.

Walton appears to believe in his own myth and he presents it well: his tone is down home, expresses a genuine Christian humility, and believes in small-town values. Fair enough, but there are many who see things differently. I suppose that that self-serving tunnel vision and absolute confidence in the system he created is part of his entrepreneurial genius, but it is also a clear statement on its limits.

Recommended. This is on a par with Ray Kroc's autobio and will interest all students of business.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book by World's Greatest Retailer!, 15 July 2003
By 
Dah Hui Lau (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
It could not have been better to read the world's greatest retailing story from its very own founder: Sam Walton! Sam Walton shared his philosophy of life and the way he built one of the greatest empires on earth... by sheer determination, courage and wit. Those who aspire to be great business men or women should learn from the master of retailers.
Business that sells commodity products are faced with overwhelming competition. And the only way to survive is to be the low cost operator... and it will be extremely hard to find anyone more effecient than Wal Mart. Wal Mart is just a superb machine oiled to take the world by storm with its excellent low cost and efficient operation.
I truly believe that anyone will benefit from this good book, whether you are business men or women or just ordinary folks who are searching for interesting books to fill your time. Even my parents, who are not into business, find this book extremely interesting to read.
I highly recommend it to everyone!
-Dah Hui Lau-
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invest in growth, 27 Jan 2000
This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
It is a great book not only for people in retailing but also for people in other businesses, and students as well. And when you compare it for example to Southwest (Freiberg & Freiberg: Nuts!) or Virgin (Branson: Losing my Virginity) stories, you'll find some interesting similarities. In addition to that the book might give you some ideas, which could be useful in your business.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most inspiring "can't put down" read you'll ever find, 27 Sep 1999
This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
Armed with my highlighter pen, I began to read and look for ideas (mine is an unrelated business)for my own operation. Now, there's more highlighted sentances than not - and having read literally hundreds of self-improvement books, this has been undoubtably the most uplifting one of them all! If you want your customer to be king, you must read this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wal-Mart's iconic founder tells all (well, most), 27 May 2009
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
Wal-Mart is not just a gigantic retail company. It is the ultimate retailing juggernaut, setting the bar for products, packaging and pricing, and demolishing its competitors. Given its staggering influence, some would say Wal-Mart has become the very embodiment of retailing. It is the world's biggest private employer and its largest (by revenue) public corporation, with 2008 sales topping $400 billion. It has 4,264 stores in the U.S. and, with its international subsidiaries, serves more than 100 million customers weekly across the globe. The personality of Wal-Mart's late founder, Sam Walton, is still a driving force, a source of homespun, countrified wisdom and old-fashioned common sense. In this engaging autobiography, Walton explains how he built his mammoth corporation from a small five-and-dime store in Bentonville, Arkansas. The book doesn't include much bad news, but you wouldn't expect to find it here anyway. getAbstract recommends this colorful, entertaining book by America's ultimate entrepreneur. He clearly was a determined steamroller as a businessman, but he was also a charmer - and that won't surprise you either.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real American Story, 19 April 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is not only the history of one of the best American enterprises ever, but also a word for the future. Those who are looking for some good advices how to sell this or that would be disappointed, but those who are looking for inspiration in their business or life might find it very fulfilling. There is no recipe for a good business in the book, but among the rules, that Sam Walton formulates at the end the most important, he says, is "Break all rules!". This book is a must read for every businessman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easily readable and informative, 6 Feb 2005
By 
Heino Viik "Heino" (Tallinn, Estonia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
Sam Walton was retailer and merchandiser all his life. In his book he gives a story of development of American retail market, building up Wal-Mart and how Wal-Malt conquered the souls and purses of American consumers. First, I found the story slightly irritable with its too folksy style and numerous nods to Wal-Mart associates that left the impression of insincerity. Only in the end I learned that he wrote the book facing the unavoidable encounter with the unknown and as such the book was first and foremost his testimony to Walt-Malt employees. Sam Walton saw the Wal-Mart as his legacy to the world and the book seems to be intended as a "bilble" to the company that would keep the values and ways of doing business alive. We can all learn something from it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He built the biggest retailer in the world from scratch, 15 Nov 2009
By 
Mariusz Skonieczny "Author" (classicvalueinvestors com) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
Wal-Mart can be loved and hated at the same time, but there is no question that its success is unmatched by other corporations in the world. Sam Walton revolutionized the retail industry. He knew from the beginning that customers wanted low prices, so he was determined to deliver them. Unfortunately, this also meant low wages for all the employees, but since he was extremely frugal himself, he did not see it as a problem.

He built Wal-Mart from scratch in a small town in Arkansas. To come up with the best ideas, he visited many stores and borrowed from them if he thought they would be beneficial. Originally, his business model was only implemented in small towns, but as the company grew larger, expansions included big cities. Today, many businesses around the world are learning from Wal-Mart's success and applying its concepts just like Walton borrowed ideas from others. I found this book to be very educational.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story about a great man., 7 Jun 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Sam Walton : Made in America My Story (Mass Market Paperback)
Sam Walton knew the price of success and paid it.
He changed retailing forever. He also made himself a billionaire and made millionaires of many others who shared his dream. But the greatest value of this book to me is its inspiration. Sam's "Ten Rules That Worked For Me" will work of anybody. You can run a company or a life by them. Anybody who becomes the country's richest man is worth listening to. He'll make you a believer.
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