Why Are the Amish Successful in Business?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Posted in category Boom-Bubble Phenomenon

Because they don’t open Cold Stone Creamery stores and other embarrassing reminders of the Credit Bubble’s infatuation with adolescence.

Here’s a nice piece on CNN Money about how and why the Amish thrive in business, in spite of lacking an enterprise plan for BlackBerry, political correctness training, diversity quotas, or an incentive bonus plan. From the article:

Networking through Facebook doesn’t exactly have the same community-building pull as teaming up with neighbors to build a barn, and few Americans these days can point to a childhood where they awoke regularly at dawn to milk the cows.

Another key advantage is that Amish business owners tend to stick with what they know.

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20 Responses to Why Are the Amish Successful in Business?

  1. Jeannie Queenie says:

    May 12th, 2010 at 1:04 am

    I would take exception to their not having an enterprise plan for blackberry. A couple years ago I ordered some blackberry jam along with several other items from some Amish farmer in PA…everything I ordered was fresh, excellent tasting and from what I could ascertain, their enterprise plan was on the money!

  2. Karen De Coster says:

    May 12th, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Jeannie – enterprise plan for BlackBerry refers to the use of corporate BlackBerry (phones)! LoL.

  3. Iluvatar says:

    May 12th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Except when Obamamama is on it, then it’s called “CrackBerry”.

    Have you gotten your daily dose of tech toy today?

    No? Where is your sense of patriotism and commitment to the cause brother?

    Don’t you know that 70% of our GDP is YOU spending money – Get busy!

  4. Iluvatar says:

    May 12th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I get my hamburger and (raw) cheese curds down at the Amish Market in Annapolis. Highly recommend. The bratwurst is to die for.

    These guys really do have it together…

  5. liberranter says:

    May 12th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    [W]hy the Amish thrive in business, in spite of lacking an enterprise plan for BlackBerry, political correctness training, diversity quotas, or an incentive bonus plan.

    Don’t believe for a second that the African Virus, his Marxist Politburo pals, and his IRS thugs aren’t dreaming up, as I write this, some scheme to FINALLY impose all of these things upon the Amish, along with the many more draconian wealth-killers they’re set to impose on ALL of us. Just as Stalin recognized the threat that the Ukrainian kulaks represented to his forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture (and thus the entire Soviet economy), so too are secular socialists in Amerika viewing the Amish as a (tiny, but potently symbolic) bone in the collectivist throat, one of the last remaining impediments to full-scale nationalism of what little remains of the non-corporatist agricultural sector of the Amerikan economy. No, there won’t be any massacres or forced deportations to distant wastelands (not immediately, anyway), but that which has made the Amish both unique and successful -and that could serve as a model and inspiration to other Americans once they wake up from their MSM-induced hypnotic belief in socialist economics- stands to be swept away if current trends continue.

  6. Erik Wesner says:

    May 12th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Hi Karen, thanks for picking up the CNNMoney article–and you are right that there is little PC training in the Amish world!

    I wrote the Amish business book mentioned in this piece, and I can say that it’s true that the Amish have resisted certain impositions of the government–in many cases successfully. They have shown that they can provide adequately for their own as a society (ie in areas of health care, education, etc) thanks to a strong sense of personal responsibility to the community, undergirded by religious belief. They’re not a perfect model for the rest of the world, for some obvious and other less-obvious reasons, but I feel there are definitely lessons we non-Amish can appreciate.

    And as for technology, the BlackBerry may actually not be so far off! (much to the chagrin of some in Amish society)

  7. Iluvatar says:

    May 12th, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    @ Liber: Wow! Dude are you angry or what????

    And to let you know, the FDA Nazis are ALREADY doing this. Check out this own blog for the Amish guy who almost got “arrested” for (& get this): “engaging in interstate commerce” – like that is a crime or something????

    Oh, yeh, his milk was RAW.

    And while we are (now) on the topic.

    It turns out that my fav Frenchman GOT IT WRONG, DOH!

    Pasteurization of dairy products actually DON’T make them last longer.

    Surprised?

    Actually, this process kills ALL bacteria – and then what happens is that what comes back is ALL of the BAD bacteria! But if you GROW it RAW, it turns out that the GOOD bacteria KILL ALL of the BAD bacteria! Way Cool!

    Stunning isn’t it?

    So what the Amish do is grow their dairy RAW. Very Stunning!

    Turns out that by doing this the dairy products have WAY more shelf life -and- they taste better (especially the butter – Yummm)!

    Until only RECENTLY, can we get raw cheese, BUT only if it has been aged 60 days or more (when ALL the (good) bacteria are DEAD – frickin’ swell boss).

    You can ONLY thank 1 IDIOT for that – the dreaded FDA!!!

    When I lived in France, I used to eat a Camembert that BIT BACK! And it was totally raw.

    This is a critical diet issue as having healthy bacteria in your digestive tract (aka “gut”) is a key to your health and the health of your immune system.

    That is why I am now taking a probiotic called “acidophilus” (supposedly found in yogurt – which I can’t eat or enjoy).

    It was the sole weak spot in my diet since I can’t eat the CHEESE I WANT TO!

    But to get back on point: the FDA Nazis are coming for these guys, and that article only served to heighten their attention on these great folks. Pure Bullshit.

    Yes, Big GOV is going to get us ALL in tow whether we like it or not.

    Got a really simple word for this?

    It’s called: tyranny!!!

    5 years dude, dawn-dusk curfew and marshall law. Oooooooooohhhh, I forgot to mention hyperinflation!

    I am breaking out the beer now fellas; I don’t want to wait until THEN!!@!

  8. Iluvatar says:

    May 12th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    @ JQ:

    If you were truly being serious about the blackberry thing?

    Then that makes you a frickin’ National HERO!!!!!!

    I AM NOT joking.

    More on this tomorrow as I collect my thoughts about my absolute hatred towards idiot consumers…

    If you were, then I elect you for president OVER M Terry! `Cause that is a sense of humor that you just can’t pepper!

    More to come, trust me on this one (only if I am not banned from this site however)!

    What did I just forget? I was free? To be a miscreant?!!?

    Now that is what we all define as being CLUELESS!

  9. Jeannie Queenie says:

    May 13th, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Karen, I really don’t have ‘stupid’ embedded on my forehead. I am well aware of the Blackberry and it’s use for business. This was a play on words on my part seeing that they are known for jams and such. I guess I should have commented more like this,
    “as the Amish don’t have Blackberries for their enterprise plans, it doesn’t appear to prevent them from still enterprising the blackberries that grow on their farms”, but then that would have been way too long, and I didn’t really expect that anyone on this site would not have gotten the play on words…guess I was wrong on that score. Iluvatar is right on with his…”Have you gotten your daily dose of tech toy today?” More to the point is that the Amish are bright enough that they needn’t depend on all these techie toys to do a great job…simplicity is of the spirit..and they have it in spades. They hardly need any pc training and their incentive bonus plan consists of having you come back for more of their excellent products every year. Libberanter—speaking of the African virus and the healthcare bill, the only ones not expected to buy the extortion insurance are prisoners, illegal immigrants and the Amish! Surprisingly, the Muslims will be required to buy insurance, but not the Amish. Makes you wonder if this concession to the Amish is a little trick that will get them to feel all warm, fuzzy and content with their simple life, until, WHAM, Uncle Sam somehow coerces them into the mainstream misery mode.

    Lib—this was fantastic..”secular socialists in Amerika viewing the Amish as a (tiny, but potently symbolic) bone in the collectivist throat,” Would be nice to think that the Amish could choke the collectivist crap they want to shove down all of our throats.

  10. clark says:

    May 13th, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I had read, or saw on TV, some of “the Amish” were heading down to Venezuela to escape exactly what the comments here say about what’s headed their direction. That was a few years ago, since then I saw Hugo nationalizing some farms, so I really wonder how it turned out for those Amish who were supposedly going there. I wonder if they went somewhere else like Mexico or El Salvador. I wonder if there is a movement within the Amish to leave the U.S. or at least go to N.H.?

  11. Iluvatar says:

    May 13th, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    @ JQ:

    OK!
    Then we’re done. WE ALL ELECT JQ FOR PRESIDENT!!!!

    >>>>>>>>>>>> NEWS FLASH <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Darn it! Instead of National Hero; you will have to succumb to the presidency!

    I was so hoping you would be like my firebrand existentialist Mom and claim ignorance over CRAP that is completely UNNECESSARY in your life!

    She rejected technology about ~15 years ago, I do it for the sole reason that I am an engineer and actually understand what they are doing – I did a "Karen" thing and did a cost-benefit analysis. And they DID NOT make it.

    Oh, I am unhooking the FiOS set-top boxes tonight (was just taking a break to check in). Friday? THEY ARE GONE!!!

    Hook up the antenna Sat morning in the attic.

    Busy weekend – + still gotta mow!

    Oh Dear, look at the time, and now, since I am no longer on a raceway w/ this Alpha Lipoic Acid (finally got a sleep cycle re-established – FOLKS DO NOT MESS W/ THIS STUFF!!), I am actually getting sleepy… ;/vssssss'gjsDRUO
    FKfSDGK[
    FDJZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………………..

  12. Jeannie Queenie says:

    May 17th, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Iluvatar, Beaucoup de merci de la recommandation comme le héros national et maintenant la présidence. Étant donné mon penchant pour la simplicité je dois décliner votre offre généreuse. Je resterai pourtant la Reine de coeurs qui aide ceux cherchant le conseil utile.

    It is because I choose to remain ignorant about many techie toys, that you are half way right on that score. I feel my head is already swimming with so many ‘shoulds’, that I feel no compulsion to include more technical ‘crap’ as you so rightly claim. It appears to me that so much today of what passes for time savers, are pure bunk, and actually ends up costing one bigtime in the time realm.

    The sheer maintenance of it all sends shudders down my spine. I am a firm believer of Carl Sandburg’s motto, “Time is the Coin of your Life, Spend it Wisely.” I already feel like I am into Systems 24/7…any cost benefit analysis of more inputs into my already existing systems, would lend itself into paralysis. You know that other saying, Paralysis by analysis..
    Many moons ago I had an art teacher who was so right on the ticket with his KISS, that is, Keep It Simple Stupid. Besides, there are far more interesting things to do with one’s time than fiddling with techie toys 24/7..bad enough I’m on the computer far too much as it is…but I love it as a research tool. For artwork I absolutely hated learning Illustrator, PageMaker, Powerpoint, Adobe photoshop and all the rest…found them to destroy the creative side, and generally just a royal pain in the arse. Why would you want to draw like a robot when it comes so incredibly natural to do with one’s own hand? Ditto with patterns for sewing…hated them and always designed my own clothes and made my own patterns.
    So Iluvatar, what’s up with the Alpha Lipoic Acid and sleeping? Ever try 1/2 tab of Melatonin? Works like a charm for me.

  13. Iluvatar says:

    May 18th, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Zut alors!! Vous avez decline la poste de le President? Est-ce que c’est vrais? Oh mon dieu! Qu’est qui passe enfin? Vous etes superbe, enfin!@!

    Wanted to address some of your points and also tell a joke (we need one after the rescue package for Greece…)

    The joke I was thinking of went something like this:

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    JQ has been nominated for the presidency of the United State!!!

    This is GREAT NEWS and shows the American public wants to get back to right-styling their values.

    However, despite no difficulties in establishing her citizenship (unlike our current President – the Baracknoid spider – Obamarama),

    There are SEVERE difficulties in the correct establishment of her age in order to be a legitimate candidate for Presidency.

    Medical practitioners and forensic scientists have been engaged to address this issue. One interviewed member of the team indicated: “There is no WAY that some chick looking like she does could make the age requirement for the Presidency- I wouldn’t let her buy beer from my store – even if I saw this chick’s ID!!!”

    Forensic specialists have been brought in to see if some of there technologies can be brought to bear to actually determine JQ’s real age. Their initial comments: Well, ya’ know it could be difficult `cause she is still breathing and all, but we could do a bone marrow Carbon 12 dating scheme? We really don’t have the technology for this kind of thing”

    OK

    `nuff of the fun

    Please RESIST the technology toy CRAP that is saturation bombing our society.

    If that were not true, then why would it be nec’y to invent a new catch-word phrase called: “WORD/life” balance (after “WORK/life” balance) after all? They were talking about BlackBerrys after all!!!

    It is b/c of the obvious addiction to these TECH toys afterall!! Talk about a major REDUCTION in productivity – have a conversation after all!!!

    And oh? The “KISS” philosophy is not NEW – we used to call it “living the life of a Spartan”

    Hang in there dude! People need to know what you are doing to live life on the right path (but also make sure your man gets that he needs to cook for you too – sometimes! My mom told me that a long time ago – let her slide her feet under the table on occasion – she will love you for it@!)

    Answer on the ALA: if you take too much of it > 1200mg/day – IT WILL BLOW YOU UP!! It will get your metabolism SO fired up that you can’t sleep and will destroy your sleep cycle.

    Trust me – take this FAT pill (it is a saturated fat after all) with the maximum CARE – this little pill KICKS SOME MAJOR BOOTY!

    Still gonna find a way to get you back for that Karen (she is still probably hucking a lung over what I just did to myself!!)

  14. icr says:

    May 19th, 2010 at 9:35 am

  15. Jeannie Queenie says:

    May 20th, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Iluv: “Well, ya’ know it could be difficult `cause she is still breathing and all, but we could do a bone marrow Carbon 12 dating scheme? ” Ohmigod, Luvatar. Yes, I am still breathing, sometimes, heavy in fact. I have yet to stop absorbing carbon, but won’t trade my carbon credits for crap and trade anytime soon. I am not looking forward to any radiocarbon dating in the near future, for said dating is used to date things that were once living up to about 50,000 years ago, so that let’s me off the hook, ya think? So, it’s like this fair one, I’m not biting the bait on the age thing…let’s put it this way. Two years ago, I taught for one year at an old boy’s academy, ages 14-18 high school horny hormone hopping hotheads. I was all too often asked how old I was and if I had daughters, to which I replied, “I am old enough to know better, and old enough to have five kids/ten grandkids.” That was met with, ‘oh so you are forty eight then?” Now you have to know that made my day, my month, my year, but I replied with, “sorry guys, but if you think you are getting an A by pumping sunshine, forget about it”. They’d laugh. I wish now that each day I had kept a diary of that experience for it was truly unique. Most were Turkish and all muslim and trust me, it would make a good book. Many came from wealthy homes from Istanbul, and carried wallets stuffed with hundreds and fifty dollar bills…the wealthiest ones were indeed the laziest.
    Talk about techie toys, these kids had them all, and didn’t hesitate to use their cells while I was teaching and it’d piss me off. They loved the techie stuff and would ask to use my computer to check out famous hot chicks which I said NO too.

    On monday morns I’d open my computer to find that they had been in it over the weekend…window after window of porn and games would flash before my eyes. Ran to administration and told them to get the computer cleaned up for two other female teachers in CT almost went to the slammer when puter porn was found. Inside a couple days they had a new computer for me. But back to the techie stuff…I found out that these kids could not pay attention for more than a minute or two EVER..
    for they are all so used to instant this and that, that the real job of concentrating is lost on them..it’s the dark underbelly of tech toys today. Part of it is that often they are entertaining themselves 24/7 with these gizmos and all else gets put aside.

    You said, “I wouldn’t let her buy beer from my store – even if I saw this chick’s ID! That is positively funny for it happened to me not long ago..when this clerk asked for ID, I said, “you got to be kidding…for crying out loud, I have grandkids”. She said she didn’t care, just show her the proof…how ridiculous was that?

    Oh, one more thing..one day this recalcitrant kid didn’t want to do his work and told me he’d come in with a suicide bomb strapped to him and stand next to me. I knew I had to be cool with this jerk, so I started laughing my head off, and said, “wow, just think, you will go straight to hell, and I get to go to heaven and have my 72 male virgins”. The other boys loved it and scorned that kid the rest of the day! Even so, my pepper spray was always close by if I ever needed it!

  16. Iluvatar says:

    May 20th, 2010 at 2:15 am

    @ icr:

    Just checked this out!

    Super UGLY!!!!

    Why are they doing this????

    I may have to retract all the nice things I said about them!

  17. Iluvatar says:

    May 21st, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    @ JQ

    You are a stinker. You caught the weak part of the joke (I had hoped you would miss it).

    I had the front part of it pretty well-worked out but had not worked out the finish.

    When I re-read it (after hitting the “SEND” button) I just groaned. Thanks for not getting ticked off about that – it was indeed awkward, & I apologize.

    I wanted to say something funny about the dilemma of the age determination aspect and way missed the mark…

    Also apologize for the french. Haven’t written it in over 25 years. Can barely speak it anymore – used to be fluent. What a shame.

    As to the tech toys, I heard a funny phrase:

    “word/life balance”

    Clearly, the recognition is dawning that these things (texting most of all) are addictive in nature and are actually counter-productive (when you could do it quicker w/ a conversation).

    Hang in there dude, keep keepin’ on.

  18. Jeannie Queenie says:

    May 22nd, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Iluvator, I feel no need to be upset about anything you said. In fact, I was laughing my head off at your comments. Ditto for me with the French…been longer than your 25 years since speaking it….professor wanted me to change my major to French from art, but dumb,dumb stuck with the art. Prof had suggested I could have done well as a translator, but you are young and don’t always get the cues your elders are sending.

    You are spot on about so much of the techie stuff being quite counter productive…it can actually take more time, much more time.
    I feel I am doing good to remember to juice up my cell phone every three days, and remember to put my digital camera batteries in the battery charger 2X a week. We really do have enough maintenance in our lives without adding to it. Like you have said “keep it simple”. Got into Facebook for a short while, but found that is truly a time sucker…also felt so fake…seems like everyone on there is into a pissing contest with every little thing transpiring in their lives…all the blow by blow accounts, like who really needs to hear the day to day stuff all the time? That plus I wondered about Uncle Sam finding that a terriific tool to check on us…today on the news that was confirmed. Facebook hands out all that personal info on everyone, and all along their users thought they were safe…ha ha ha ha, uncle sam, that stealth stealer of your identity has you in his scope!

  19. Iluvatar says:

    May 22nd, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    @ JQ:

    Thanks for the tip on facebook.

    I have never used it & now, never will.

    Merci beaucoup!

    A Toute A L’Heure!

  20. diego says:

    June 29th, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Maybe their strong sense of property rights, which has led to a lack of dependence on the State, also helped? In the book, “Amish Enterprise”, the footnotes include examples of how the Amish try to avoid government “help” like Social Security and Medicare. All the qualities that are being promoted (lack of tech., community) can be found on Native American reservations. Except the reservations are failing compared to Amish communities. (The reservations are heavily subsidized by the Federal Gov’t.)

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