Years ago I watched an episode of Oprah featuring Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. He told the story of the early days – including meeting potential investors at a coffee shop inside a bookstore. The whole interview was delightfully down to Earth. My favorite part was when he was talking about the days shortly after launch when the orders started coming in regularly.
At the beginning, they were packing up all the orders in a corner of their warehouse, right on the bare concrete. They had a staff meeting, all of the handful of employees at that time, to discuss the situation because it was starting to get painful. Jeff Bezos suggested knee pads.
One of his staff members suggested they buy a table. That suggestion got that guy a raise!
The fact that knee pads were the first solution to pop into my mind as well forever endeared him and his company to me.
Wow, I just realized that this is the second time I’ve admired someone for being self depreciating and willing to look the part of a fool.
I guess I am also more than willing to look the fool, only I don’t perceive it that way. I spent my entire cold adventure wearing a giraffe hat.
Some people might have thought it silly. Others (myself included, which counts so much more) thought it was awesome.
Then again, I’m often not afraid to do things that I know will embarrass other people. Did you know that it is not common to take home left overs from restaurants in Europe? That was one local tradition that I intentionally did not follow. I think my frugal nature won out! Although he has been in this country forever, Kurt still gets embarrassed by my doggy bags. Admittedly, though, that does add to my likelihood to do it!
How much attention do you pay to what “they” think of you? or Have you ever felt a personal connection to a company after learning more about their founder?