Saturday, March 22, 2008

Buffett's Web-Minimalism

On-again-off-again richest man in the world Warren Buffett is famously frugal. (Not like "re-using old bread bags" frugal, but a cheeseburger and Coke diet, and if I recall correctly he drives an American car, a Caddy I think. I mean, the guy is so rich could have team of virgins carry him in a Maybach to wherever he wants dropped off.)

This frugality apparently extends to the website of the company that is the vehicle he used to build his fortune, Berkshire Hathaway.

The minimalist Berkshire site was probably hand coded back in the late nineties and doesn't appear to have changed at all other than minor content updates. It even carries an extremely antiquated self-pronouncement as the "Official Home Page". The page is dark lettering on a white background, and almost all the content is linked from two columns of bullet pointed items. Only two small images appear on the entire page, both in the form of links to some of Berkshire's subsidiary companies. Even the Berkshire "masthead" of the page is pure html. There is indeed something refreshing about a site that has accessible content and could load acceptably over a dial-up internet connection.

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