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Warren Buffett is great at business. But his website is terrible.

Warren Buffett, with his face more decorated than his company's website.
Warren Buffett, with his face more decorated than his company's website.
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Berkshire Hathaway is the fifth biggest company in the US. Its CEO, Warren Buffett, is widely recognized for his shrewd business sense.

Its website also looks like the Geocities one you made when you were 14.


Why doesn't Berkshire Hathaway have a gorgeous website? For one thing, it's clearly doing fine without one — $162.5 billion in revenues in 2013 is no small feat. Basic Times New Roman and bulleted lists do the job.


But another possible factor is that Berkshire doesn't really have to market any products. Berkshire is a holding company — a company that, like the name implies, holds a bunch of assets. In Berkshire Hathaway's case, that includes a variety of companies, from Geico to Dairy Queen (as an endearing aside, however, Berkshire has a low-tech ad for Geico at the bottom of its page).


Those companies Berkshire owns themselves have nifty interactive websites, where customers can find insurance quotes or take a quiz about how they eat ice cream. They have to have sites that represent and sell their brands. Berkshire just has shares to sell. And those can be ridiculously valuable; a class-A Berkshire stock share currently sells for nearly $200,000 (class B shares are more affordable, at nearly $130 per share).

There could be all sorts of reasons why Berkshire keeps a spartan website, of course (and other billionaires have been known to maintain subpar sites). Either way, the site does its basic job: it has regularly updated letters to shareholders, earnings reports, and even a link to Berkshirewear (itself manufactured by a Berkshire company). No man's wardrobe is complete, after all, unless he has an oxford shirt with the image of a $100 bill embroidered into the front pocket.

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