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A Case in Point

Pat Mahoney, the chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of Energy Answers International, is a frugal client. I had served him for more than 18 years before I learned, in an interview for this book, that he is a devotee of Benjamin Franklin and that “doing more with less” is the enabling mantra of his life.

When we talked at my office, Pat spoke about discovering Franklin’s autobiography when he was a young engineer. He described turning the pages with a strange awareness of “what Franklin was going to say next about savings, about frugality. . . . And I knew then what I wanted to do with my work after school.”

This CEO is as much about building a frugal worldview as he is about building large and effective machines. I have visited Mahoney in his headquarters, in a restored building on Pearl Street in Albany, New York, for over two decades now, in sun and rain, in winter and summer. And in each case, I observed the same core books by Franklin and others (most notably Ayn Rand and World Inc.!) on a shelf behind his head. Sometimes, Pat takes these books off the shelf to read the exact phrasing of a passage he has in mind.


  

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