• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Thinking outside the (shoe) box

by on
in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Shortly after leaving his father’s shoe business to start Kenneth Cole Inc., the newly hatched designer wanted to attract attention at a big trade show in New York.

The show offered two options for designers: You could be one of a thousand companies setting up in small rooms at the Hilton, or you could create a fancy showroom. Cole found the first option limiting and the second one too expensive. So he decided to borrow a friend’s tractortrailer, park it in front of the Hilton and peddle shoes from there.

“I called the mayor’s office and said, ‘How does someone get permission to park a 40-foot trailer on the street in New York?’ And they said, ‘The answer, son, is that they don’t. This is New York. There are only two exceptions: if you are a utility company doing service or a production company shooting a full-length motion picture.’”

The next day, Cole changed his company’s name to Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. and filed for a permit to shoot a movie called “The Birth of a Shoe Company.”

“With the mayor’s blessing, I opened for business on Dec. 2, 1982,” Cole says. “I had two New York policemen as my doormen, compliments of the city. I sold 40,000 pairs of shoes in less than three days.

The lesson: “In business and in life,” Cole says, “the best solution isn’t necessarily the most expensive one, but it’s almost always the most creative one.”

— Adapted from “Kenneth Cole: How the King of Sole Got Soul,” Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Knowledge@Wharton.

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/7443/thinking-outside-the-shoe-box "

Leave a Comment