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Mr. Cain is a hero, not so much for the wealth he created for himself and many others, but the way he lived his life when he did not have alot of money.
Involved in a number of his transactions from the banker's role, Mr. Cain has set an example for all of us who call ourselves capitalists. Unfortunately, the corporate scandals of the day get the headlines whereas the true successes that create value for everyone, including the employees get little or no attention.
Integrity, Accountibility and Maximizing Long-Term share-holder Value -- not going for the quick buck at the expense of others is what is all about -- it allows us to discover, explore, educate, entertain and enjoy the life before us -- society progresses as a result. Everyone Wins.
High recommend this read to everyone -- whether or not you have an interest in business becasue it is the true story of one man's journey who just happened to become a successful businessman through a series of "happy accidents.
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While many will not recognize his name, all have had their lives improved by his many innovative contributions to science, medicine, and education. Chemistry as we know it mostly advanced through the development of instruments that can rapidly, inexpensively, and accurately analyze biological and mineral substances. Our modern manufacturing processes rely on these instruments as do our physicians in isolating and diagnosing diseases. Many of these tests were first accomplished by either Dr. Beckman or the company he founded, Beckman Instruments. His company also played a key role in pioneering critical components and instruments for secret projects such as those for radar and the atomic bomb during World War II.
In parallel, Dr. Beckman played a big role in the development of Cal Tech, as a student, professor, major donor, and trustee. The rise of that institution from being a small school to one of the world's very top universities benefited, in part, from Dr. Beckman's efforts on Cal Tech's behalf over many decades.
Dr. Beckman's company continues to thrive today as Beckman Coulter, and is leading the way to finding new ways to diagnose diseases.
If you are like me, you will enjoy reading about how many important chemical and electronic innovations occurred. Dr. Beckman was often involved. For example, Beckman Instruments was at one time briefly a leader in work developing the first semiconductor technology, before there was a Silicon Valley. It was fascinating to see how the team split off to become Fairchild and later Intel.
Dr. Beckman was very generous with his charity, and has donated hundreds of millions of dollars.
The biography is unusually detailed on both the personal and the scientific side. The book also benefits from having many excellent photographs. I particularly liked the many side bars that made it possible to read in more depth about particular aspects of Dr. Beckman's life. .
Anyone who wants to understand about the challenges of being an inventor-businessperson will enjoy this book. Those who are interested in understanding more about how modern instruments developed will find the book like a history of science. Anyone who wants to learn about being a good example will find Dr. Beckman to be a worthy source of study, as well.
After you finish this book, consider where you have stopped following your curiosity. Then take some more steps in those directions. Like Dr. Beckman, your greatest accomplishments may be ahead of you as you follow your curiosity into the uncharted territory of the next big thing.
Look on life with interest and pursue it with high standards!
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