Summary of The Self-Made Billionaire Effect

How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value

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The Self-Made Billionaire Effect book summary
Studying self-made billionaires provides a bounty of inspiring business success stories.


8 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


This methodical study of self-made billionaires (not those who inherited most of their wealth) sheds light on how they got rich. The study challenges stereotypes. Most billionaires do not succeed alone or bloom young. Most made their fortunes after age 30 and in well-established, competitive industries. John Sviokla and Mitch Cohen of PricewaterhouseCoopers suggest that anyone can profit by adopting these billionaires’ “habits of mind and action,” such as profound empathy with consumer problems and the ability to identify creative solutions. The narrative distinguishes “Producers,” who bring together a range of resources and people with ability, from “Performers,” who have special talents in certain functions. getAbstract recommends this insightful overview of self-made billionaires’ decision-making processes – and its suggestions for ways to emulate them – to leaders, managers, entrepreneurs and up-and-comers of all stripes.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How self-made billionaires acquire and keep their wealth;
  • Why self-made billionaires tend to be “Producers,” not just “Performers”; and
  • How companies can emulate the profitable habits of self-made billionaires.


Studying Self-Made Billionaires
The academic research on self-made billionaires is sparse. Few researchers have systematically assessed billionaires who made their fortunes instead of inheriting them. This need for original research led to an intensive study of 120 self-made billionaires...
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About the Authors

John Sviokla is head of global thought leadership at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). Mitch Cohen is vice chairman of PwC.

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