… last week I was interviewing Justin Wetherill who at 21 started uBreakiFix out of his bedroom. Today, a decade later, they have 419 stores and are growing dramatically. His secret is a brilliant model where items like iPhones and other technologies can be fixed on the spot, by super nice staff, at a super discounted price. Now clearly, much of the success comes from a model that customers love, which is an important lesson.
Justin also shared that they hire, not for technology expertise, but people who are truly nice — which is part of the secret for the great customer model. But the big lesson I gained from Justin is how the fabric of everything they do is based on higher purpose. Justin told me, “Repair is noble; replacing things is wasteful.” Think about that … uBreakiFix is saving the environment from more landfill (with electronics this is especially important to our planet) and is also making both the buyer and the store associate feel good about themselves — that they have jointly saved something!
So how does this relate to today’s CEO? I remember as a five year old learning from my mother that waste is bad. And so to me life can come full circle. CEOs should remember the fundamentals you learned about life and see if there’s a way to turn the lesson into a business model that actually makes the world a better place.