"The Science of Success" by Charles Koch

Brian Gongol

The name "Koch" is practically a dirty word among many on the left wing of American politics, because brothers Charles and David Koch are incredibly rich and have put massive amounts of money to work trying to influence elections and public policy. Instead of using the name as an epithet, they should read "The Science of Success" -- the book Charles Koch wrote to summarize the management system they've used to build their company. It's both a persuasive work of responsible, pro-market philosophy -- and an excellent (if too-short) textbook for running a business for very long-term growth. It's a very quick read, and it's extremely hard to argue with the actual record of success of Koch Industries. Either it's an excellent blueprint for people who admire their success and want to emulate it, or it's a clear look at at a rival's playbook. (Or, as it was put in the movie "Patton": "Rommel, you magnificent bastard...I read your book!") If the approach to management described in the book isn't responsible for the growth of Koch Industries, then it would be well worth studying what is.

Verdict: "The Science of Success" is a fast read, highly valuable for business owners, managers, and capitalists at large. Also highly recommended for those who have opinions about the Koch brothers politically but who don't know how they got that way.