|Standard Oil Refinery No. 1 in Cleveland, Ohio|
By keeping the primary focus on refining, the company was able to continually improve its processes and acquire other refining companies until the company eventually refined over 90% of the oil in the United States.
Standard Oil did acquire oil wells later and operated gas stations. But it was the intense focus on refining that made the other businesses possible. At the time it was broken up in 1911 by the Supreme Court for violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, it controlled 70% of the refined oil market, but only 14% of the crude oil supply.
While diversification has some advantages, concentration is usually more successful.
How intense is your focus?
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