Behind the Book: Built from Scratch

August 22, 2019

Built from Scratch. First released in 1999 to coincide with The Home Depot’s 20th anniversary, the book was written by founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank with writer Bob Andelman to tell the story of how The Home Depot came to be.   

Bob Andelman, who has had a long and successful career as an author, journalist, podcaster and publisher, was selected by Random House to help Bernie and Arthur with the book on the heels of his bestseller, Mean Business. Over the course of several months, Bob interviewed Bernie, Arthur and many others including fellow founder Ken Langone. It was Bob who wove the story of the company’s founding and first twenty years into an entertaining read, with alternating chapters written in Bernie and Arthur’s voices.   

Bob traveled with Bernie and Arthur, fondly remembering how both men made him tuna sandwiches—Bernie at his home in Florida and Arthur while traveling together. Due to Arthur’s intense schedule, Bob did whatever it took to spend time with him, including tagging along on Arthur’s flights. While doing a store walk, Bernie gave Bob a signed orange apron, which he says is “still my favorite souvenir of the project.”  

This month is the 20th anniversary of Built from Scratch and the 40th anniversary of The Home Depot. Now, you can download Built from Scratch in digital format to read it on the go.

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