Most feel-good stories come and go. Somebody does something wildly creative or uncommonly kind. Maybe both. We’re impressed, but seldom do we hear about long term consequences. (When there’s a follow-up, it’s often because the tale turns out to be phony or it has a bitter conclusion.)
Yet once in a while, stories just keep getting better and better. This is one of them.
Two summers ago I wrote here about Dan Price, a Seattle-based entrepreneur who set $70,000 as the minimum wage for each one of his employees. The post drew half a million views, the highest any of my fifty-plus posts has received. Most commentators applauded, but a few were critical. Several people called Price’s action “socialistic.” That reaction struck me as weird, as Price was acting privately as the majority owner of his small credit card processing company, Gravity Payments. There was no government involvement at all.
Then a year ago, I wrote an update to report how things were going for Price and his company. There had been bumps in the road, notably a dispute with his brother who also held some Gravity stock. Two experienced employees quit, because their raises weren’t as big as those for people lower on the scale. A few customers cut their ties, as well.
Another year has passed, so now it’s time to check in again. The news continues to be strongly positive on two different fronts. On the business side revenue continues to grow, as the company has rapidly expanded its customer base. The number of employees has climbed by 40 percent.
I’m sure that this will be studiously ignored by business school professors.