How to Succeed in Business (According to a 15th Century Trade Merchant)

Curated by Paul Helmick

I’m a Technology CEO and Experienced Entrepreneur. I love helping people use technology to grow their business.

  • This article has some interesting age-old business wisdom that, I’m sure, has been repackaged again and again in many other books over the years
  • In what could be considered the first business how-to book, an Italian merchant from the 1400s advises leaders to be charitable, ethical, and treat people fairly; be modest; be selective in deals; and retire at 50
  • Written in 1458 in Venice by trade merchant Benedetto Cotrugli, The Book of the Art of Trade has just received its first English translation and was unveiled by the Harvard HBS Business History Initiative (BHI)
  • Honor, prudence, integrity, diligence, civility, composure, and temperance are all highlighted in separate chapters—but Cotrugli gives equal due to the importance of luck and boldness
  • Enjoy the full article – it’s a great 10 minute read that any business executive will appreciate and enjoy.