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The Full See’s Candies Story: People & Product

In Intelligent Fanatic by Sean Iddings0 Comments

Buying See’s Candies was not only a good investment for us, it was a positive learning experience. We discovered that we had purchased a company that held itself to a high standard of business ethics – product quality, service integrity, and the right sort of relationships with employees and supplier. See’s Candies became our model for investment in other quality …

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Building Intelligent Fanatic Intuition

In Presentation by Sean Iddings3 Comments

If success is preparation meets opportunity, then how can investors be prepared to find great business leaders before they are “great”? In other words, how do we deliberately refine our ability to find intelligent fanatics of today and tomorrow? It’s our belief that with the right amount of preparation, investors can find fanatics ex-ante. In this presentation I provide a …

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Lillian Vernon: Unpacking the Lessons From a Mail-Order Queen

In Business Blunder, Intelligent Fanatic by Sean Iddings0 Comments

Sometimes its better to get out of an industry. In Brilliant Pivot & Patience I wrote about Edwin Wegman’s pivot from novelty mail order business to a bio-pharmaceutical success. On the flip side, Lillian Vernon built a mail order business from scratch and doubled down on her niche, monogrammed goods, and expanded into other hard to get trinkets. She’d focus on …

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It’s More Than Buy, Squeeze & Repeat With 3G Capital

In Intelligent Fanatic, Presentation by Sean Iddings0 Comments

Today, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB-InBev Ticker: BUD) is the world’s largest brewer with nearly 30% market share. It all started back in 1989 when the 3G partners took control of Brahma, Brazil’s number two brewer. More people are starting to talk about 3G Capital and their owned companies. Unfortunately, the press misses a few important parts of their system. There is …

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Brilliant Pivot & Patience: Mail Order To $400 Million Biopharma Co.

In Intelligent Fanatic by Sean Iddings1 Comment

Mail order through catalogs is a method of consumption of a bygone era. Today, the concept has transitioned to the internet. The days of paper catalogs filled with pictures are gone and the experience, along with selection, has vastly improved. Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogs have been replaced by Amazon, Shopify, Flipkart and others. You can receive a shipment quicker …

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Billion Dollars To Bust: Health & Tennis Corp. Of America

In Business Blunder, Intelligent Fanatic by Sean Iddings0 Comments

Have you watched Shark Tank recently? An 83 year-old, who looked 50, along with a younger partner were pitching a new glove for snowboarding. That wasn’t the most interesting part. The older fellow, named Donahue “Don” Wildman, said he built and sold a multi-billion dollar revenue business. He did. That company was Health & Tennis Corporation of America. Don and …

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The Birth & Death Of A Consumer Franchise: Waldbaum’s

In Business Blunder, Intelligent Fanatic by Sean Iddings0 Comments

Readers who grew up in the boroughs of New York City or in some areas of New England, prior to the mid 1980s, might be somewhat familiar with our next case. Waldbaum’s was a supermarket chain that started from humble beginnings and grew to dominate their markets. The story behind the company is extremely interesting for numerous reasons. Namely, the founder …

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Business Blunder: Pancake Flipper Al Lapin Jr. & International Industries (IHOP)

In Business Blunder by Sean Iddings0 Comments

The year was 1958. Former TV-motion picture specialist for the government turned entrepreneur, Al Lapin Jr., started a small pancake shop in downtown Los Angeles. Flipping flap jacks himself, he turned International House of Pancakes into a success from scratch. A year after opening International House of Pancakes, he began franchising the brand. By 1961, the company had eight owned …

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Jorge Paulo Lemann’s Thoughts on Failure

In Presentation by Sean Iddings0 Comments

Jorge Paulo Lemann is the quintessential intelligent fanatic. He founded Garantia in 1971 and built it from scratch into the best investment bank in Brazil. Along the way, he and his partners developed a management system and talent pipeline that is one of a kind. Warren Buffett said he has not seen a better management system, ever. Jorge Paulo and …