Inside our very first issue.
George Jay Gould had mismanaged the railroad empire accumulated by his father while concerting on building a “fairyland” estate, European vacations and polo. Forbes would later conclude that Gould “is impossible as the controlling power of railroads . . . in which the public have invested many millions of dollars.”
The Rockefeller Quest
To complete a profile of John D. Rockefeller, B.C. Forbes studied both the oil industry and the man himself, interviewed his inner circle, including his son, J.D. Jr., and even golfed with the billionaire at his Pocantico Hills estate, where Rockefeller “made good his threat to lick me,” Forbes wrote.
The relationship between employers and employees was the underpinning of “the peace and prosperity of the Republic.” So Forbes ran an essay contest: “Who Is The Best Employer in America?” Winning pieces would get prize money, a total sum of $1,000 (about $20,000 today).
It’s doing your job the best you can
And being just to your fellow man;
It’s making money—but holding friends. And staying true to your aims and ends. . . . It’s serving, striving through strain and stress, It’s doing your Noblest—that’s Success!
B.C. Forbes had a very clear message in his first column: “Business was originated to produce happiness, not to pile up millions. . . . The man who depends upon his bank account to insure him a happy life reaps disappointment.”