book hack

Lights Out

Thomas Gryta, Ted Mann

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric takes a behind-the-scenes look at the spectacular decline of one of America's darlings of the industry.

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Lights Out

Lights Out

by Thomas Gryta

Overview

Although General Electric no longer makes lightbulbs, the iconic item that made the company a success more than a century ago, chances are high your life is still impacted by some of their products. Today, the multinational founded in 1892 designs an eclectic range of items – from jet engines and power station turbines to medical equipment.

This model of varied and disparate businesses under one brand helped make it a profit juggernaut in the 20th century but also ultimately brought the company to the brink of collapse through a combination of short-sighted executive leadership and outright hubris.

In Lights Out, Wall Street Journal reporters Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann detail the executive missteps and errors of judgment that nearly destroyed one of the most successful and innovative manufacturing businesses the world has ever known.

Favorite quote

At General Electric, the corporate logo is officially known as the Monogram. The old-timers have a more affectionate name for it. They call it 'the meatball.'

- Thomas Gryta and Ted Mann

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