1951, SB – Bachelor Of Science || 1952, SM – Master Of Science
1956, SCD – Doctor Of Science || MIT Faculty 1956-2001

The Curious Genius of Amar Bose

Source: Popular Science | Tom Clynes | July 2013


As an MIT professor and as CEO of the eponymous company that he built from scratch, Bose has made breakthroughs in an astonishingly broad range of disciplines, including acoustics, aviation, defense, even nuclear physics. At times, he says, he has risked the entire company in pursuit of a particular idea. “I would have been fired a hundred times at a company run by MBAs,” he tells me. “But I never went into business to make money. I went into business so that I could do interesting things that hadn’t been done before.”

It turns out that curiosity did not kill the company. Whatever its founder’s intentions, the Bose Corporation does in fact make money—but what it does with that money is certainly in line with his original mission. According toBose, most of the profits on the company’s estimated sales of $1.7 billion are plowed back into research. “One of the best decisions I ever made was keeping the company privately held, so we can take short-term pain for long-term gain,” he says. “Public companies have to look good every 90 days to please the markets, so they can’t do that.”

“I would have been fired a hundred times at a company run by MBAs. But I never went into business to make money.”As we drive, Bose, slim and energetic at 75, leans into his stories much as he leans into the road’s curves. He speaks with a gravelly voice and an enthusiasm reminiscent of George C. Scott’s character in the movie Dr. Strangelove.

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