You are here: home > frequently asked questions (faq)


Q: Is it true that Mark Gavagan and Warren Buffett are good friends?

A: No, they've never met.


Q: Why would Warren Buffett allow someone else to create a book using mostly his words?

A: Generousity (20% of sales are donated to charity) and perhaps an interest in seeing his ideas, humor and insights reach a wider audience.


Q: Why give a percentage of sales to charity, instead of profits?

A: It's utterly simple, which made the project easy to pitch to Mr. Buffett (and made it easy for him to trust that we'd live up to our committments).

It also ensures that the charity earns money from the very first book purchase. Regardless of whether the project earns a profit or loses money, the GLIDE.org charity gets 20% of sales, period. The charity won't subsidize expenses (by receiving less money) that result in lower profits.

Another benefit of simplicity is that there are fewer grounds for disagreement.

Even reasonable people acting in good faith can disagree about how to calculate profit and whether or not an expense is legitimate. For example, should the entire bill from going to lunch with our CPA or publicity consultant be deducted from the charity's share of profits if only part of that lunch is devoted to discussing this book? Probably not, but with a simple metric like percentage of sales, there's nothing to argue about.


Q: How long did it take Mr. Buffett to decide?

A: From the moment the proposal was mailed out to when his response was opened was six days. Amazing!


Q: Why is so little of the book's content written by Mark Gavagan?

A: Mr. Buffett's material stands on its own. Also, the TV series "America's Funniest Home Videos" served as inspiration. The program's entertaining content was constantly interrupted by the hosts' annoying commentary. Here, Mark Gavagan's annoying commentary is kept to a minimum.