Monday, August 15, 2011

Passion At The Work Place

When there is excitement and passion in the workplace, people want to be there participating.  Eileen Gittins recognizes this.  She founded Blurb.  The company that started out as a self-publishing startup for mainly artists making their own art books.

It has grown because
  1. They pay attention to details.
  2. Give the customer the quality they expect.
  3. Maybe this is the most important, as Gittins says "I just get energized by ideas and by people who are committed wholeheartedly to whatever it is they’re doing."  She says this goes for not only her employees but her customers as well.

I remember the days (that makes me sound old) when it was exciting to walk down the halls of a record company.  There was music everywhere. Posters hung on the walls.  Boxed vinyl was stacked all over the place creating a labyrinth in the offices.  Laminates hung on lanyards from bulletin boards.  People would accost me to listen to the latest  not-yet-released songs from Paul Westerberg.  It was fun, exciting and there was passion everywhere.

Fast forward to a story I remember hearing from Sony Music.  When Howard Stringer landed there in the late 90's, it was rumored that he asked Donnie Inner to turn down his music as it was too loud.  Can you imagine running a record company and being told to turn down the sole reason for the company:  music?  The corporate heads sucked out the passion.

Mashable has an interview with Gittens, which is worth the read.  She talks about growing her company.  The original business model:  Could we make money as a business on a book of one? Meaning if somebody made a book, and they only ever ordered one copy, could we have a viable business? And the reason why that was so important was that’s the opposite of traditional book publishing and creating apps. 

She's focused, smart and passionate.

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