John Malones Simple Formula


John Malone has been able to put up phenomenal financial returns over his career. Below he shares his simple formula. While it’s short and sweet, this is hugely important in any business endeavor. Notice how he says, “I couldn’t exist without [it].” All intelligent fanatics live by this one formula and execute it perfectly.

I couldn’t exist without trust because my philosophy is pretty much delegation of authority and responsibility. I probably at one point had over 40 partnerships going. There’s no way that you can run those [alone]. You have to depend upon your partners or the executives to do the job.

You know you can have auditors and everything, but the bottom line is you delegate authority to people you trust. Then you hold them accountable to perform. It’s a formula that generally has worked very well for me.

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The Most Valuable Investment Skill

One of Malone’s best partnerships was done with Robert “Bob” Johnson. We write about Malone’s partnership with Johnson and the incredible story of Black Entertainment Television (BET) in our new book Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

Here is a few quotes from Malone on Johnson:

"We had a number of partners [at Black Entertainment Television] over the years, including Mario Gabelli, but at the end of the day, Bob [Johnson] was very successful and he retained majority ownership all the way through, which was quite a testimony to his doggedness, his willingness to keep his budget down and grow the business." - John Malone, interview

"He [Bob] is what creates value for BET. Without him, I wouldn't want to be involved." - John Malone, in "The Branding of BET"


Sean, consider linking to the video:

Malone goes through many aspect like vertical and horizontal synergies, tax efficiency and tracking stocks.

I found great value in it and think others might as well.


Thank you for reminding me about this Mavericks lecture. Malone is a genius when it comes to structuring deals and tax efficiency. I’m going to get this lecture transcribed for members.