Built to Last

Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

by Jim Collins , Jerry I Porras

Number of pages: 368

Publisher: Harper Business

BBB Library: Entrepreneurship, Corporate Success

ISBN: 978-0060516406

About the Authors

Jim Collins : Jim Collins authored or co-authored books, including "Built to Last" and


Jerry I Porras : Jerry I. Porras is an American organizational theorist, Lane Professor Emeritus


Editorial Review

Built to Last has influenced many executives and entrepreneurs since it was originally published in 1994.  It outlines the results of a six-year research project into what makes enduringly great companies. Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper beyond the 21st century.

Book Reviews

“Despite having some lengths, I think the book is a good and relevant read for investors who want to look a little bit outside typical investment literature. Some people might say that the book is too old to be relevant, but I personally think that the content of the book is pretty timeless.”

“BTL ends up looking like a relative prince, providing more hard evidence, in the form of historical research and good storytelling, than 99% of the books out there.”

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Wisdom to Share

What is a visionary company? Visionary companies are the best of the best of their industries, admired by their peers and having a long track record of making a significant impact on the world around them.

All individual leaders eventually die, and visionary products and services eventually become obsolete. Yet visionary companies prosper over long periods of time.

We found that visionary companies were much less likely to begin life with “a great idea”

If you’re involved in building and managing a company, we’re asking you to think less in terms of being a brilliant product visionary or seeking the personality characteristics of charismatic leadership

A key step in building a visionary company is to articulate a core ideology.

It’s the organization’s fundamental reasons for existence beyond just making money—not to be confused with specific goals or business strategies.

A visionary company continually pursues but never fully achieves or completes its purpose.

A visionary company carefully preserves and protects its core ideology; yet all its specific manifestations must be open for change and evolution.

Give it a try—and quick! Do something, if one thing fails, try another.

Accept that mistakes will be made.