Ron Burley’s post on Inc.’s Customer Confidential column got me thinking about the positive outcomes that can occur as a result of a single, fateful interaction. I had an analogous situation arise in 1995.
Through a serendipitous introduction, I met a newly minted Oracle executive that was moving to CA to take the helm of a marketing team in Redwood Shores. He was looking for a promotional products partner of a different sort: someone who would act as his point person in the marketplace and manage the creation of custom or fine quality branded items for executive attendees at his conferences. Given my experience on 7th Ave with retail brands, we hit it off right away. Over the next 5 years our two teams collaborated on some amazing bespoke products from marketplace leaders. Many items became exclusive, signature pieces for Oracle: Tumi, Faconnable, Baccarat, Mont Blanc, Moleskine and Sony were just a few of the companies we partnered with on Oracle’s behalf.
When the time came for him to move on, we went with him but also remained at Oracle. As his team began to move on, they also took us with them to companies as varied as Apple, SAP, Ariba, Adobe, BEA and back again to Oracle. This one connection is still paying dividends. Whoever coined the phrase “it’s all about relationships” certainly knew what he/she was talking about!