Helping Others is Good Business

On Sep 25th, 2019, Dan Price, the co-founder, and CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit card processing, and financial services company stunned all his employees at his company’s Idaho office by giving them each a $10,000 raise.

This wasn’t the first time Dan was doing something like this.

In 2015, during a quarterly all-hands meeting he announced that he will bump the wages of all his employees to a minimum $70,000 during the next 3 years. He cut his own pay from $1.1 million to $70,000 to cover a big part of the cost.

Most Gravity employees were overjoyed. But there were experts who criticized him for a ‘socialist’ move that will take his company down.

The reality turned out to be quite different. His good deed received unprecedented media coverage, a large part of the business world across the world came to know about his brand and his work. An NBC video feature on him received half a billion views.

His company received 4500 job applications soon after this. Big number for a 100 people company. Among the applications was one Yahoo executive Tammi Kroll. Kroll took around 80% pay cut to come work for Gravity. She is now the company’s CTO. Since Dan made the announcement in 2015, the company profits have increased 5 times from $4 million to $20 million.

It didn’t end here. The goodwill, happiness, and trust it generated were immense, His employees polled money and saved for six months to gift him a Tesla S model, his dream car.

I have seen this play out well many times in life. My friend and co-author of my first book, Derek Sivers, created a business by helping people sell their music online. A business that he sold for $22million in 2008.

Do you think you can help others without disrupting what you do?