Murphy's Law

Tom Murphy

Wed, 26 Feb 2003 12:56:52 GMT

When the founder bites back… 

Capitalism demands that some entrepreneurs will fail, some will succeed and some will muddle along. That’s the free market for you.

When a “start-up” (for the sake of a better term) is bought, and in particular start-ups whose image is inherently connected to the founder(s), it creates some interesting challenges for the acquirer. 

Ben & Jerry’s is a fantastic example.  The company was built, named and grown through Jerry and Ben.  When Unilever purchased the firm, Jerry and Ben eventually went their own way and pursued the same causes that had helped to grow the company in the first place. 

But what if their opinions cause Unilever grief? Ben and Jerry’s (the company not the individuals) press room takes an interesting approach to solving this paradox. 

They clearly poisition the relationship between the founders and the company and then re-iterate the company’s own stance on the issues in question.

I think it’s very very well done…. except…. and it’s a big except.

The last link on the page invites web visitors to view a note from Jerry.

Now it might just be me, but I think this is overkill.  The earlier passages clearly position the issue and clarify the company’s view.  The “note” from Jerry reads like he wrote it at pain of death.

Just my two cents!

Related links: TrueMajority.org

Written by Tom Murphy

February 26, 2003 at 1:56 pm

Posted in General

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