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The First Billion is the Hardest Audiobook
The First Billion is the Hardest
Written by: 
T. Boone Pickens
Narrated by: 
Arthur Morey
The First Billion is the Hardest Audiobook

The First Billion is the Hardest: Reflections on a Life of Comebacks and America's Energy Future

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Publisher's Summary

Now 80 years old, T. Boone Pickens is a legendary figure in the business world. Known as the "Oracle of Oil" because of his uncanny ability to predict the direction of fuel prices, he built Mesa Petroleum, one of the largest independent oil companies in the United States, from a $2,500 investment. In the 1980s, Pickens became a household name when he executed a series of unsolicited buyout bids for undervalued oil companies, in the process reinventing the notion of shareholders' rights. Even his failures were successful in that they forced risk-averse managers to reconsider the way they did business.

When Pickens left Mesa at age 68 after a spectacular downward spiral in the company's profits, many counted him out. Indeed, what followed for him was a painful divorce, clinical depression, a temporary inability to predict the movement of energy prices, and the loss of 90 percent of his investing capital. But Pickens was far from out.

From that personal and professional nadir, Pickens staged one of the most impressive comebacks in the industry, turning his investment fund's remaining $3 million into $8 billion in profit in just a few years. That made him, at age 77, the world's second-highest-paid hedge fund manager. But he wasn't done yet. Today, Pickens is making some of the world's most colossal energy bets. If he has his way, most of America's cars will eventually run on natural gas, and vast swaths of the nation's prairie land will become places where wind can be harnessed for power generation. Currently no less bold than he was decades ago when he single-handedly transformed America's oil industry, Pickens is staking billions on the conviction that he knows what's coming. In this book, he spells out that future in detail, not only presenting a comprehensive plan for American energy independence but also providing a fascinating glimpse into key resources such as water - yet another area where he is putting billions on the line.

©2008 T. Boone Pickens; (P)2008 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (234 )
5 star
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4.3 (94 )
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4.4 (89 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Eric Omaha, NE, USA 10-20-08
    Eric Omaha, NE, USA 10-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Guide for a U.S. National Energy Policy."

    Overall this was a very informative book for anyone interested the future of the U.S. as a world power. There's something for everyone in here. Some of the more interesting topics covered where: big oil, natural gas, commodities trading, building a business from the ground up, leadership, taking risks, having a plan, many 'Boon-isms', taking care of yourself and leaving a legacy. Of course you'll learn a tremendous amount what makes T. Boone tick. If you are following the energy crisis (which could be a bigger issue than the housing and financial crisis), renewables, global warming, or the Pikens Plan, you'll learn a lot in this book. The only negative I found where a few of the statistics. I thought they may have been stretched to play on your emotion. That said, I found most of the stats to be well researched and backed up with credible sources.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 06-21-09
    Mike 06-21-09 Member Since 2015
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    "Great personal story"

    This is a story of a guy who didn't know how to quit. This was one of the more interesting accounts of business success I've heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Edmond, OK, USA 12-29-08
    Dan Edmond, OK, USA 12-29-08
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    "The Energy Industry"

    I enjoyed this personal account that covered a lifetime in the industry. The dates, names of people and places, and discrete conversations made each recollection seem like is just happened yesterday. I also found the hindsight to be critical yet produce a learning point.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 12-19-08
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 12-19-08 Member Since 2010
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    "egocasting at its worst"

    I was hoping to hear an inspiring story from a captain of industry and an expert on energy. What I heard was an unabashed review of "Boonisms" that were clearly self serving towards helping Mr. Pickens strut his stuff. Even on energy, all he was doing was pitching the listener on replacing gasoline with natural gas, which he sells! In my opinion, this book was an entire waste of time.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-06-15

    Mr. Excitement

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    "It ain't over till it's over!"

    T. Boone Pickens doesn't excellent job recounting his life story how he became a billionaire period and continues to be successful with strategies he's learned experience. He also demonstrates that just because you get older get smarter and wiser continue to be successful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikhil G. 11-28-15
    Nikhil G. 11-28-15
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    "Great AutoBio. Oil Billionaire for Alternatives."
    Would you listen to The First Billion is the Hardest again? Why?

    Maybe. If time permits will love to listen again and cement his ideas.


    If you could give The First Billion is the Hardest a new subtitle, what would it be?

    I think the title is a little misleading because its essentially his autobiography and this thoughts and suggestions about resolving US dependence on foreign oil. I would subtitle it something like "Mr Pickens, Texan oil magnate picks alternatives over oil, how about you" !


    Any additional comments?

    Mr Pickens is a Texan Oil billionaire now in his 80's. He takes the listener through various peaks and troughs of success and failures in his life. I would say the title is a little misleading because it's really about his career as an oil magnate and his thoughts / solutions about Americas energy crisis . He hates US oil dependence on the Mid East and favor's natural gas as a source of transportation fuel which is a lot cleaner and cheaper. He is big on Alternative energy. I particularly liked his 'stay fit and never give up' philosophy. I will have to say this book is a little dated in a way because he predicts oil and gas prices going through the roof but shale turned everything up side down . Oil is now at 40 dollars and gas at 2 dollars so he clearly missed this scenario . Heard a couple of weeks back on Bloomberg and he think natural gas is not a good buy even at 2 since there is a ton of it out there but he is bullish on oil since he thinks this low 40 dollar price is not sustainable for profit, sellers will cut production leading to price movement . I think sometimes he didn't follow chronology ( a bit of back and forth ) which is not a problem if one is attentive . Also some of his success in messa and eventual exit I would have liked to hear more figures behind that . Last, he skipped completely on the reasons for divorce so left me wondering about that . All in all its a great read because this book inspires positive thoughts and gives a ton of valuable information densely packed. Wish you a good read !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg 08-17-15
    Greg 08-17-15
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    "Not bad"

    The first half was pretty interesting learning about Boone's life but the back half felt like a sales pitch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan-Victor Balaesh 06-01-15
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    "A great book"

    Great book and a perfect performance on a fabulous life story
    Author T Boone Pickens is indeed a beautiful mind

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saad H 03-28-15
    Saad H 03-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good Bio Book"
    Any additional comments?

    The book represents the biography of T. Boone Pickens from his birth till established his BP Capital Fun & throughout his oil endeavors.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    manaf 02-01-15
    manaf 02-01-15 Member Since 2016

    I am a plastic surgeon by profession A father by heart A trader by choice A teacher by passion A child by curiosity

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    "sadly "I got lucky I got rich Now i write a book""
    Any additional comments?

    i was hoping for a thoughtful analytic account that gives insights into markets and trading , sadly it was a mere account of personal historical events with no way to verify any of them . i guess you would like it if you just wanted to know by his account how did boon Pickens make his millions ,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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