- The Hoover Dam. In 1931, Bechtel organized a consortium of six companies to build it, the biggest civil engineering job in U.S. history up to that point.
- The San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge.
- The Saudi Arabian Pipeline stretching 1,068 miles across the desert.
- The Alaska Pipeline, called “impossible” because of the mountains and rivers it needed to cross.
The point: Unlike Richard Branson, Donald Trump and today’s diversified entrepreneurs, Bechtel stuck to his core activity. Until he died, he called himself simply a “builder” and could be found poking around construction sites.
Could such intense focus be a route to preeminence in your field?
— Adapted from The Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.