Built from Scratch by Bernie Marcus
  • Title: Built from Scratch
  • Subtitle: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew The Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion
  • Author(s): Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, Bob Andelman
  • Publisher: Currency
  • Year: 2019-08-20
  • ISBN-10: 0593137892
  • ISBN-13: 9780593137895


“Built from Scratch” by Bernie Marcus is an inspiring autobiography that delves into the remarkable journey of Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of The Home Depot. Through vivid storytelling, Marcus reveals the challenges and triumphs he faced during his entrepreneurial career, highlighting the key principles that drove him to create one of the world’s most successful retail giants. From humble beginnings to facing near bankruptcy, Marcus provides a transparent and honest account of the obstacles he encountered and emphasizes the importance of teamwork, innovation, and customer service in building a thriving business.

Throughout the book, Marcus illustrates the significance of taking risks and believing in oneself. He shares invaluable lessons on leadership, emphasizing the importance of empowering employees, fostering a positive company culture, and maintaining a laser-like focus on customers. Moreover, “Built from Scratch” offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at the strategic decisions and innovations that fueled the growth of The Home Depot, showcasing Marcus’s relentless determination and unwavering commitment to excellence. With its blend of personal anecdotes, valuable insights, and practical advice, this book serves as an inspirational guide for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders seeking to make their mark on the world.

Book Review

“Built from Scratch” by Bernie Marcus is a captivating autobiography that chronicles the extraordinary journey of a visionary entrepreneur and the birth of one of America’s most successful companies, The Home Depot. With engaging prose and an uplifting tone, Marcus recounts his humble beginnings, shares the challenges faced along the way, and imparts invaluable lessons on leadership and business.

What sets this book apart is Marcus’s resilience and determination in the face of adversity. From his early days in retail management to being abruptly fired from his job, he embraced these setbacks as stepping stones to create something extraordinary. Marcus’s passionate storytelling draws readers into his world, allowing us to experience both the exhilaration and frustration of building a company from scratch.

One of the book’s strengths is Marcus’s emphasis on the importance of people and team collaboration. He passionately demonstrates that a successful business is built on a foundation of satisfied customers and engaged employees. As Marcus sheds light on the philosophy behind The Home Depot’s growth, readers are given a glimpse into the inner workings of a customer-centric and employee-driven organization.

While the memoir primarily focuses on the early years of The Home Depot, Marcus also imparts wider business insights, including the value of taking calculated risks, embracing innovation, and adapting to change. This blend of personal anecdotes and practical advice adds depth to the narrative, making “Built from Scratch” a valuable resource for aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals seeking inspiration.

On occasion, the book could have delved deeper into some of the challenges faced by Marcus and his team, as well as explored the impact of external economic factors on business growth. Also, the narrative occasionally leans toward self-promotion, which might cause readers to question the book’s objectivity. Nevertheless, these minor drawbacks do not significantly detract from the overall enjoyment and value of the book.

In conclusion, “Built from Scratch” is an engrossing memoir that encapsulates the entrepreneurial spirit and determination that forged The Home Depot’s incredible success. Bernie Marcus’s unwavering commitment to his vision, his dedication to customers and employees, and his resilience in the face of adversity make this book a compelling read for anyone interested in the world of business and the indomitable spirit of entrepreneurship.

Word Count: 371

Target Audience

“Built from Scratch” by Bernie Marcus is targeted at a diverse audience with varying interests, professions, and motivations. The book is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Entrepreneurs and Founders “Built from Scratch” is highly recommended for entrepreneurs and founders, as it offers a firsthand account of the challenges and triumphs faced while starting and building a successful business. Bernie Marcus’s experience and insights provide valuable lessons on taking risks, overcoming obstacles, and persevering in the face of adversity. The book serves as an inspirational guide for those embarking on their own entrepreneurial journey, offering practical advice on leadership, innovation, and customer-centric strategies.

  • Business Leaders and Executives Business leaders and executives can benefit greatly from reading “Built from Scratch”. Marcus shares his expertise on building a strong organizational culture, fostering employee engagement, and creating a customer-focused approach. His emphasis on the importance of teamwork, trust, and dedication to customer satisfaction make this book a valuable resource for business leaders seeking inspiration and practical strategies to drive their own organizations towards success. Additionally, the book delves into important aspects of strategic decision-making and staying ahead of evolving market trends, making it particularly relevant for those in leadership positions.

  • Retail and Home Improvement Industry Professionals Professionals working in the retail and home improvement industry will find “Built from Scratch” particularly insightful and relevant. Bernie Marcus’s firsthand experience in revolutionizing the retail industry through the establishment of The Home Depot is a treasure trove of knowledge and innovation. The book provides a deep understanding of the challenges faced by retailers and offers valuable lessons on creating a differentiated customer experience, building strong supplier relationships, and leveraging innovation to stay ahead in a competitive industry. Whether one is a store manager, buyer, or executive in the retail sector, this book offers practical takeaways and inspiration for success in the industry.

  • Anyone Seeking Inspiration and Motivation “Built from Scratch” is recommended for anyone seeking inspiration and motivation in their personal and professional lives. Bernie Marcus’s incredible journey from adversity to triumph is a testament to the power of resilience, determination, and unwavering belief in oneself. The book’s uplifting tone and passionate storytelling make it an engaging read for individuals looking to overcome obstacles, achieve their goals, and find inspiration in the face of challenging circumstances. Ultimately, this book serves as a reminder that success is attainable with hard work, perseverance, and a strong vision.

In conclusion, “Built from Scratch” offers valuable insights and inspiration for entrepreneurs, business leaders, industry professionals, and individuals seeking motivation and guidance. Bernie Marcus’s story is a testament to the power of determination, innovation, and a customer-centric approach, making this book an excellent recommendation for anyone looking to learn from the experiences of a visionary entrepreneur and pioneer in the retail industry.