As a company that has been around in some form or another for more than 50 years, you might expect that the Berkshire Hathaway offices in Omaha, Nebraska, feature memorabilia from the company. Or, perhaps things like awards and outstanding employees; memorable moments, or things related to the many companies that Berkshire owns. Instead, what you’ll find is what chairman Warren Buffett refers to as “instructive art.”
According to the new HBO documentary “Becoming Warren Buffett” while the walls of the offices of Berkshire Hathaway do indeed include some Coca-cola memorabilia and other similar things, they also include front pages of the New York Times featuring famous Wall Street disasters.
A few of the dates, which Buffett said he made copies of when he first took over Berkshire Hathaway, include the 1929 crash and the panic of 1907. There are around seven different dates hanging around the office—all showing some of the worst days in Wall Street history.
“I wanted to put on the walls days of extreme panic in Wall Street just as a reminder that anything can happen in this world,” Buffett said in the documentary.
It might seem like an odd choice, but Buffett has always been advocate of treating failures, problems, and losses as learning tools. After all, studying failures is one of his rules for success as it helps not only understand what to avoid, but also help provide perspective. History, after all, often repeats itself.
The new HBO documentary was released on January 30, 2017 and is available online.