The World’s Greatest Website: Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

You may be asking yourself, “Why would Berkshire Hathaway be the world’s greatest website?” I can answer that question in two words: Warren Buffet. For those of you old web development timers would know, the site is mainly built on old-school H-T-M-L. The navigation is simple, yet no link bar anywhere yet alone any new bootstrap technology anywhere. But who can argue with the Oracle of Omaha. The man is worth approximately $80 billion dollars. So, as a business owner or a worker in a corporation, one would take note of the simplicity and straightforwardness of the site. Clicking on any link on the page would force, once landed on the new page, the user to hit the…back button on a web browser. Certainly one of the basic UX and web development cardinal sins. Never let the user hit the back button.

Berkshire Hathaway’s website 1999-2020

But, if one such person would want the success of a Warren Buffett, wouldn’t a person imitate his behaviors like wearing the same 20 or so suits, eating meals at McDonald’s, reading for hours, and living in the same house he bought in the 1950s. Right? So you would think some would jump on the same bandwagon, develop a minimalistic and extremely bare bones website. After all, this site was made in 1999. That’s about the time when Microsoft’s Frontpage was considered a staple in web development. What’s to stress here that Buffett and his company’s work speaks for itself. Which has me guessing that this flip phone owning financial guru does not need a fancy website. Just a simple website of links, pdfs, and where to be found.

As web and internet people, both ourselves and customers want the latest and greatest by all means possible for the coolest websites. But what does the user really want? Of course: information. The sooner they can get it, the sooner they can got back to what they are doing, whatever they may be.

So, the next time your business or organization is looking for a website rebuild, ask why. Sure you might need an additional feature, but remember, keep it simple. Your work will speak for itself and I have never heard a customer said, “I was sold to work with you because of your fancy, fancy website.” Plus, bottom line, it will save you thousands of dollars.

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