Robert here at our office just forwarded me a link to a CNNMoney article on the history of Specialized. The reporter interviewed founder Mike Sinyard for the story of how he began Specialized and grew it into a “profitable $500-million-a-year-company.” The article came out on May 20, but I haven’t seen it posted anywhere else so here it is. It’s a very interesting read.
Here’s a funny story of how he dealt with a customer who bounced a check back in the early days when Specialized was still struggling and starting out:
It wasn’t always easy. I insisted that the stores pay COD, because I didn’t have extra money. One time a $1,000 check from a store near San Francisco bounced. When I called the owner about it, he gave me some big story about how he’d eventually get around to paying it. I knew he was lying, and he refused to return the merchandise. I sent my roommate up there with a check to buy the shipment I had just sold to the store and then had him cancel my check. I called the owner and said, “That great sale you made? Well, that was my roommate, and now my check has the same value as the one you gave me.”
There’s also a video interview with Mike here.