I read somewhere about a company that in a brilliant business hack, bought all the paint of another company, and sold it in what became a key moment in the company's history.

Was it Walmart in its early days, or another company in that period? Wish I could remember.

1 Answer 1


The Dow Company, in 1904.

Dow had a monopoly on bromine in the US, but not in Europe, where the powerful German cartel Die Deutsche Bromkonvention fixed the price at 49 cents per pound, and threatened Dow not to enter the Europe market, or Bromkonvention would flood the US market with cheap bromine.

Herbert Dow, being strapped for cash, decided to ignore the threat and sell bromine at 36 cents per pound. Bromkonvention retaliated by flooding the US market with bromine at 15 cents per pound.

Dow worked out a brilliant strategy: instead of meeting the 15c/lb price, he pulled from the US market, had undercover agents buy all the bromine from the Germans, then repackaged it and sold it in Europe at 27 cents a pound, along with all its internal production.

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