Ken Lagne Tells PTJ About HD’s Early Days And Its Competitive AdvantageJacob Wolinsky
RobinHood Conference 2017 coverage continues with this FIRESIDE CHAT WITH KEN LANGONE. There will still be much more so stay tuned but you can get up to date. Our landing page for all the notes can be found here, also sign up for our free newsletter
Speaker: Ken Langone (BoD of Robin Hood: Co-founder of Home Depot), Paul Tudor James (Founder of Tudor Investment)
Scariest day in the investment career of Ken Langone?
The day JFK was assassinated.
When the relationship with Cuba was unstable.
When a question arose on how we were going to behave like human beings.
When International Revenues were at 10%.
Opinion on a commitment to owning equities?
Ensure you own something if you want to be rich.
People who get into finance for the money are in it for the wrong reasons.
You need to be enthusiastic, passionate and love what you do.
What did you see in Marcus/Bernie to make you want to partner with them for HD?
If you go to bed with dogs, you will wake up with fleas.
I saw that Bernie was a real merchant with high values.
Also, handy Dan was 81% owned by the public and the person running it was not doing a good job.
He is excellent at understanding margins and how everything impacts them.
He never paid minimum wage since he viewed employees as their best weapons.
He wanted employees to feel like they owned the business.
The founders believed that by dispersing ownership, people would be motivated to work since they have a stake in it.
3K people who started by pushing carts at HD are now worth millions.
What is the center of every lucky business person?
Three things in life drive success. A kind word, thoughtful gesture, and passion.
A successful business person should motivate young people to share ideas and remind them that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.
Employees need to know that the managers are willing to do what the employees do.
Anyone can sell what HD sells and use the same pricing. The difference is the experience given by someone who genuinely cares.
HD treats associates as customers.
Is Amazon a threat to HD and other retailers?
LOW was created 30 years before HD and is the best thing that happened to HD.
Amazon is forcing everyone to look at alternative ways to go to stores.
Bezos is humble, smart, decent and takes care of people.
Home Depot will join technology to keep up with retailers like Amazon and improve their service.
Ken Langone loves Amazon and believes that a significant competitor will help improve your performance. It is good knowing that there is a threat and if you do not do something about it, someone else will. It motivates you to work harder and think out of the box.
1. Home Depot online sales are growing at 20% and are expected to make $6bn online sales next year. It will not be easy to achieve this goal, but it will improve HD.
Where are you when it comes to Donald Trump?
Donald Trump is making some great moves, but it would have been better if he had a better delivery style.
The world is hurting, and it would be better if more people would help those in need.
Trump is the fever and electing him was a draconian move.
American people are disappointed and fed up with politics that is normal.
Is there any advice you can give to a person in their 20s?
Do not rush into something for the money.
When getting into something, think about it and find out if it is something you can do for the rest of your life and still be excited.
Focus more on satisfaction and fulfillment instead of money.