If you haven’t been following the hilarious exploits of Jayson Gonzalez and the Krispy Kreme donuts fiasco, here’s a link.
My summary is this: a student in Minnesota saw an opportunity in the market, and grabbed it. Krispy Kreme at the time has no stores in Minnesota (from what I understand). So Jayson spent his weekends driving four hours down into Iowa, buying 100 boxes of fresh donuts, driving 4 hours back, and then reselling them in parking lots.
People followed his fan page for updates, and gladly paid his marked up price.
When Krispy Kreme discovered what he was doing, they sent him a cease and desist. Which he complied with. But then, the social backlash from his followers hit headquarters like a ton of bricks. People complained about all kinds of things, and Krispy Kreme – surprisingly – relented after a couple of days.
They stated that they were looking out for everyone’s best interests – his own, as well as their brand integrity. Which I can understand – he didn’t exactly have a food licence. But then, his buyers understood the conditions under which they bought all that krispy goodness.
Krispy Kreme turned around and donated 500 boxes of free donuts, with a couple of caveats for food safety. Today, Jayson is running a Gofundme for a bigger truck to haul all these donuts – because the burst of media attention and interviews blew up his page. And consumer demand.
Like I said, hilarious, and an awesome story.
There’s a reason why we love these ‘David and Goliath’ tales. And why we tell stories like ‘Jack and Beanstalk’ to kids.
It comes back to something I tell myself alot: people like us tell stories like these. And if this story strikes a chord with you, then you’re buying into an incredibly old narrative. A narrative where a crafty, bold, entrepreneurial person can have an edge over a larger, slower figure.
Goliath was famously decked out in hundreds of pounds of plate armor and the best protection shekels could buy. And yet David changed the rules of the game, and took him out with one carefully placed pebble.
Jack climbed a beanstalk and stole a golden harp and golden goose from a giant, made it back home safely, and took out the giant by severing its connection to the rest of the world.
Jayson saw an opportunity, built up a incredible batch of superfans, and seems to have turned his college life and opportunities around by making a corporation rethink their policies. (No idea where he’ll go in life, but the story so far is cool.)
People like us tell these kinds of stories.
Our culture in the west is caught between two kinds of meta stories; Jack and the Beanstalk, and Hektor and Achilles.
There’s a reason we dig Hektor from the Illiad over Achilles; Hektor was a noble man, a brave warrior, and Achilles a veritable demigod wearing divine armor. For challenging the will of a demigod, Hektor died a miserable, heroic death, and was dragged around Troy. Quite a lesson about challenging manifest destiny.
And yet we love him for that spunk. That nobility. That drive to stand up for himself.
Many of us dream about striking out on our own, making a difference with our grit and cleverness, like an Odysseus who invents a new way to solve a social problem – a Trojan horse.
We believe in this idea that a nimble, intelligent individual can make change happen. We love underdogs. We root for them.
This is a story that connects us.