The other day, I got into a Twitter discussion with Joe Weisenthal and others on the hedge fund Bridgewater. A WSJ article had described Ray Dalio’s shop as “Cult-like.”

All of which raised the following question: What are the Cult firms of today? What modern day companies, public or otherwise, have qualities similar to cults?

Here is the short list put together on Twitter:

Goldman Sachs

Whole Foods

Starbucks

Five Thirty Eight

Zappos

Microsoft (in the 80s & 1990s);

Apple (in the 1990s and today)

Enron

Wal-Mart (cause of that cheer thing at corp meetings )

Ross Perot with EDS!

Herbalife

Facebook’s (See Zuckerberg’s letter in the S-1)

Berkshire Hathaway

That list is far from complete. Some of these firms have cult-like characteristics amongst their customers but not their own corporate culture.

Which raises the question: What are the cult stocks of today? What companies are managed and run with a specific and unique culture that makes them see cultish?

What say ye?

Category: Corporate Management, Philosophy, Psychology

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

17 Responses to “What Are The Cult Firms of Today?”

  1. formerlawyer says:

    Japanese automakers?

    Google?

    Bell Labs in the 70′ & 80′s?

  2. theexpertisin says:

    Tesla

  3. hpov2000 says:

    Tesla?

  4. Kevin P. says:

    IKEA, at least until perhaps a few years ago.

    Bose. (Many audiophiles have been saying for years what’s been said about Beats lately, that Bose makes lower-quality products with big price tags compared to similar offerings from companies such as Sennheiser and Paradigm. Their success is mostly attributable to brainwashing, er, marketing.)

    • Iamthe50percent says:

      I dunno. I’ve got Bose speakers in my car. They are immeasurably better than standard GM speakers. To really hear the difference one has to play Il Divo very loud but you can definitely hear the difference then.

      I enjoy playing the 50′s and ’60s channels on XM, thinking “Oh! Those were the words.”

  5. VennData says:

    Well Igor Panarin’s Consutlancy predicted American Collapse by 2010, so he’s out.

    As if Things Weren’t Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

    “…In Moscow, Igor Panarin’s Forecasts Are All the Rage; America ‘Disintegrates’ in 2010…”

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB123051100709638419

    And of course the WSJ hailed him as a keen observer of Obama’s destruction of America.

  6. smartass says:

    Ed Jones for sure!…they really get their salespeople, brokers, I mean investment advisors to believe they are the best around. Drink the kool-aid is what we always used to say. Yes, I am a recovering Ex-joneser who is now an independent advisor.

  7. kek says:

    Container Store

  8. Whammer says:

    Totally speculating, but I’m thinking that Uber could well be. Also AirBNB.

  9. intlacct says:

    Some cult-like firms no longer exist. Andersen. Not enough fresh air. Not enough contrarians.

  10. ThePlainsman says:

    Chesapeake under McClendon. Without question.

  11. Alex says:

    Really any company that uses its customers as its salesforce qualifies – without the cult status, they never would have survived, much less prospered. Avon, Tupperware (Dart Industries -> Kraft), Amway, Melaluca, Mary Kay. Also companies with a religious side to their marketing – Zondervan, for example, although I expect many of their most fervent customers didn’t know who they were. Gun companies have a cult following, as do, in a twisted way, companies that sell an addictive substance – tobacco companies, of course, but also alcohol. Starbucks may be on that list as well.

    One way to find cult companies is to start with human weaknesses. The companies that best satisfy those urges and cravings will be cult companies. Nike, maybe? Ralph Lauren? All the fast food places?

  12. T Barber says:

    Good cult culture: IDEO
    Bad cult culture: W.L. Gore

  13. yo Bazza~

    if you’re not including the FedRes, with its vaunted “Dual Mandate”–to begin with, I’m not sure what your definition of ‘Cult’ is..

  14. tradeking13 says:

    The Federal Reserve

  15. lilpiranhafish says:

    GE Capital. First hand experience.