Berkshire Hathaway Web Site

By on May 3, 2004

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.: Take a look at this Web site. It belongs to Warren Buffet’s company. He’s the second-richest man in the United States (the world?).

You’d think his site would be a bit more…professional? On one hand, this is refreshingly non-corporate. But on the other hand, it’s very…1995-ish.

Any thoughts on this?

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Comments

  1. CT says:

    Now you know how he got to be so rich--he doesn't blow his money on website design!

    It's not too atypical of other holding company websites, which is what Berkshire Hathaway is: The real action is at the companies BH owns like Geico etc. There's really not much of a story to tell on the holding company level. If you really want corporate detail, you can always look at their SEC filings.

  2. dz says:

    That was exactly what I was going to post, but CT beat me to it...

    dz

  3. Tom Altman says:

    At the bottom of the page it says: "If you have any comments about our WEB page" - did you tell/ask them? I wonder what their response would be.

    Tom

  4. Deane says:

    I'm just about 150 miles north of Omaha on I-29. It would take a Buffet hit team less than two hours to get here. Someone else do it...

  5. Joe says:

    Given that the shareholders meeting was this weekend, I think Warren is just happy that you didn't show up as the 'buffet' hit team on the catering for his stockholders.

  6. Deane says:

    "buffet"....oh, I get it.

    I'm laughing so hard right now that my middle finder is inexplicity stuck in the extended position. And now my chair has spontaneously swiveled to face southwest. I can't explain it...

  7. Joe says:

    Upon further review, that joke sucked. I apologize.

  8. Qpdaj says:

    Looks like one of Warren's kids (grandkids?) is taking their first computer class. "This morning we're going to make a web page!"

  9. Carl says:

    What is Warren Buffet's middle name? What does the E stand for?

  10. jimmy says:

    his middle name is ernest

  11. guy says:

    just a though: what exactly does this company do? I mean, what do they do to get their stock at $84,000?

  12. Deane says:

    Berkshire is a holding company -- it does little more than buy and hold onto other companies:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkshire_Hathaway

    According to the above article at Wikipedia, here are some of the companies that Berkshire owns (wholly or in part):

    • General Re
    • Geico
    • Kansas Bankers Surety Insurance Company
    • National Indemnity Company
    • Wesco Financial Corporation
    • Borsheim's Fine Jewelry
    • Dairy Queen
    • Fruit of the Loom
    • Nebraska Furniture Mart (Berkshire is based out of Omaha, after all)
    • The Pampered Chef
    • See's Candies
    • World Book
    • NetJets

    As for the high share price:

    Berkshire Hathaway is notable in that it never allows its shares to split. Each share is thus worth tens of thousands of dollars. However, Berkshire Hathaway has created a Class B stock, with a price set to 1/30 of that of the original shares (now Class A) but 1/200 of the per-share voting rights. Holders of Class A stock are allowed to convert their stock to Class B, though not vice versa.

  13. johnny boy says:

    wow... thanks for this blog. i was wondering for the longest time why the wealthiest man in the world had such a shitty website... idk whatever floats ur boat

  14. I know, it has to be the shittiest corporate website in the world... but then again, who are we to laugh? A shitty website hasn't done Warren Buffet, or indeed Google, any harm, eh?!

  15. P.S. Just to clarify: I'm not calling Google's website(s) "shit" by any means... I'm merely referring to their apparent lack of visual design (a phenomenon Joe Clark dubbed "anti-design").

  16. Daniel says:

    Glad I found you expressing the same concerns, I honestly thought it was a fake website (like an "unofficial" site) for the company.

    There must be a Web 2.0 or at least some more modern designed, branded version somewhere?!

    Ridiculous. There are so many start-ups and even church garage sales that have better websites than this, it's embarrassing.

    Clearly though, it's not affecting profits to the company.

  17. Oren says:

    For me it's pretty obvious why his website looks the way it does. Clearly, this is not due to lack of money or lack of manpower. The man did this on purpose. He's trying to convey a message to all of you and the message is - focus on what's inside and forget about the appearance. In other words, fanciness doesn't always imply richness or something along that line. Warren Buffet was quoted in the past saying that he would rather wear something he's comfortable in, rather than something that looks good. This is from a man who still lives in the same small house he purchased about 60 years ago. The man wants to imply that simple lifestyle and modesty is the way to go, no bells, no whistles... I think his site is a living example for a person being powerful without looking powerful. One thing I know is that the appearance of his website is not coincidental. I can easily envision him telling the web designer "I want it as simple as it can possibly be".

  18. Manjit Karve says:

    But tables for layouts, and and tags? That's just preposterous!

  19. [...] and found quite a few. Comments about the site’s er, spartan design range from thoughtful to abjectly disgusted. It seems beyond the comprehension of many web designers that a business doesn’t feel the need [...]

  20. Dean A. says:

    I don't know how to follow all these rave reviews, how about I simply say the comments should have been centered, and I don't like the font!? Is that spewing enough hate to be cool? Was that nasty enough so I can hang with the Hip crowd that seem to think the best way to express yourself and show your @$$ is to tell someone that doesn't give a $#!^ about your comments because you can't do it better, because you weren't contracted to produce one for them!!

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