Warren Buffett on the cost of loss of focus on the main business at the 1996 Berkshire Hathaway Annual meeting:
I love focused management. If you read the Coca-Cola annual report, you will not get the idea that Roberto Goizueta is thinking about a whole lot of things other than Coca-Cola. And I have seen that work time after time. And when they lose that focus—as, actually, did Coke and Gillette both, at one point 20 to 30 years ago somewhat—it shows up. I mean, two great organizations were not hitting their potential 20 years ago. And then they became refocused. And what a difference it makes. It makes tens of billions of dollars’ worth of difference, in terms of market value. GEICO actually started fooling around in a number of things in the early ’80s, and they paid a price to do it. They paid a very big price. They paid a direct price, in terms of the cost of those things, because they almost all worked out badly. And then they paid an additional price in the loss of focus on the main business…. So, we like focus. We love focus.