ema header 2019


Notes by EMA: Smart people get it + get it done

Enrique Aboitiz Mendieta

Chairman, Aboitiz Equity Ventures

07 2019


With a group of curious people who love to learn and experience new things, I took a trip to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the annual general meeting (AGM) of Berkshire Hathaway last May. It is a three-day event and on day two, the CHI Health Center is open with all of the products that companies owned by Berkshire sell — from See’s chocolates to Fruit of the Loom T-shirts, Duracell batteries, campers, insurance, and Dairy Queen, among others.




Forty-three thousand people travel to enjoy this day and listening to Warren Buffet speak the next day. Essentially, his way is not to report but to answer questions via lottery from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm with Charlie Munger on his side. Warren is 88 and Charlie is 95.



Earlier in the month, he sends out his annual report. Everyone reads it from all over the world. It is the only annual report that is read by anyone who matters. It is in black and white and in prose form. Then, at the AGM, he is there to answer your questions. It is the most widely attended AGM in the world. As a shareholder, you are entitled to four entries. These are marketable commodities for those who do not have shares. You buy them to get in.




‘Snowball’ is a biography of Warren Buffet by Alice Schroeder. It is 800 pages and well worth reading. Let me zero into one of the valuable lessons I picked up from the visit and the study.

Smart people GET IT! I add, intelligent people get it and get it done. We all have experience with these kinds of people, people who understand immediately what has to be done and get it done. Buffett runs 100-plus companies from a four-chair conference room. He cannot have anything but people that get it and get it done, and neither can any business that wants to win the gold medal.


We face a world where our single most significant risk is the risk of unintended consequences. We need a team that is alert, engaged, and gets things done.

Attention & Engagement 24 x 60 x 60.

A work ethic put by Jack Ma as 996 — 9 am to 9 pm, 6 days a week.

Get it and get it done!

There is really no room for excuses. Explanations are necessary as sh*t happens but as a rarity, not commonplace.

We live in a culture that is Latin, with no sense of urgency, and Catholic, with no sense of accountability. To thrive in that world, we need to be not only excellent but also different, as the Israelis think.

A & E 24 x 60 x 60 and 996 — get it and get it done!

“I leave you less I weary you” (Churchill)…so you can get things done!