I just finished 2 books on the history of Polaroid*. A remarkable tech company with enormous success in consumer and industrial applications for decades. It’s also remarkable just how much Apple was influenced by Polaroid.

A brief history

As a child Edwin Land found a copy of the 1911 edition of Physical Optics

One of a handful of product case studies I wrote last year to help understand successful product launches.

Apple’s iPhone was announced December 9, 2007 and released June 29, 2007. It was $499 for the 4GB version, $599 for 8GB. After 8 years it had captured 50% of U.S. …

Originally published at futureblind.com on September 16, 2012.

It is 1980: You’ve just inherited Starbucks, a small Seattle business that roasts and sells coffee beans in 4 locations. How would you build it into a company worth more than $30 billion in 30 years?

(Before continuing, make sure you’ve read…

The story of Steak n Shake, its new owner, and what it takes for a restaurant to succeed

Originally published at futureblind.com on November 25, 2009.

This is a very long-form article about the restaurant industry and the turnaround of Steak-n-Shake in 2008–2009. It tells the stories of how McDonalds, In-N-Out Burger, and Steak n Shake were founded and have stayed successful for so long. A PDF of…

See’s Candies, Warren Buffett and the perfect investment.

Originally published at futureblind.com on September 13, 2007.

William Ramsey, an executive at Blue Chip Stamps, stood in the office of Robert Flaherty as they both awaited a call. Moments earlier, Flaherty attempted to persuade Warren Buffett, majority owner of Blue Chip, to con­sider purchasing See’s Candy Shops Inc., a…

Max Olson

Scaling Mashgin ⤴︎. Code, business, investing, design, storytelling. http://maxolson.com

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