Essential business reads – meet the famous work by Frederick L. Lipman on Money Making As An Aim in Business, presented with illustrations.
“They involve risks which are unknown and altogether to be avoided. Now no one speculates in his own legitimate business, for there he is acquainted with the hazards which, he has learned, require the best of knowledge and the greatest of prudence. It is the allurement of the unknown that tempts him to seek unearned profits through speculation in outside regions where, in the nature of the case, the chances must be against him. Now speculation has its proper place in business: there are certain inherent hazards that must be undertaken, mainly to be found in the risk of the seasons in the production of crops, and the risk of the future in undeveloped enterprise. These risks must be carried by somebody, but clearly they constitute an activity for specialists who study conditions, becoming relatively expert in determining how and when to act. These
specialists are drawn principally from two classes: First, the professional speculator, who knows his markets and makes a business of buying and selling future risks; such men perform a great service in handling our seasonal crops and in other directions, and are entitled to a reasonable profit. Second, the man of wealth who
may use part of his surplus in the risks of undeveloped enterprise; although it is probable that in the end his losses and expenses will outweigh his gains, he can afford to take chances of such experiments in the hope that success will follow in some of them; furthermore, he can regard the outlay as a contribution to the advancement of mankind. ”
“If A has a house for sale and B is a prospective buyer, the essence of the possible transaction between the two is that A’s idea of the value of the property is different from B’s idea of that value; or at any rate that A sees less value in it to him than does B to B. This is of course typical of all business transactions–the seller desires the money above the commodity, the buyer prefers the commodity to the money. The seller and the
buyer each dwells naturally upon his own idea of value. This is altogether desirable, not to say indispensable, and is characteristic of every relation of business, wherever two men buy and sell, employ one another, or have other dealings together. The situation is somewhat the same as in a law suit where the duty of the attorney for the plaintiff is to make every point that fairly can be made for the plaintiff, while the attorney on the other side must correspondingly make every point that can properly be made for the defendant. Each side is supposed to look after the interest of that side. Similarly, in a business organization, say a railroad, when some new project is under consideration it will be submitted to the engineer, to the chemist, to the attorney, to the practical transportation man, and in each of these departments it is expected that the wisdom born of experience in the particular function will be brought to bear. The engineer speaks with authority on engineering questions, the lawyer on legal questions, the transportation man on the practical working out of the project; and, normally, the criticisms and contribution of each are confined to his own function.”