Well, maybe that's why Starbucks let itself be the set for that Jon Stewart/Amy Sedaris bit on Oprah yesterday. I was just flipping channels and caught a little Oprah-after-the-show on Lifetime. We see Jon Stewart, on a wish-granting mission from Oprah, driving a van up to a Starbucks, and going in to talk to a sullen barista, played by Sedaris. When the Sedaris character realizes he's from Oprah, she goes nuts, quits on the spot, tells everyone she hated the job, throws cups around, and even sucks whipped cream out of the dispenser. Please love us, Starbucks seemed to be saying, we're willing to be the butt of a joke.
People starting new companies must think: don't let that Starbucks thing happen to us. If we're very successful -- deservedly so -- because we're very good, people might nevertheless start hating us, irrationally, just because we're successful, even though we're very good. They might even hold it against us that we're so good: as if it's not fair somehow that we've gotten the jump on everyone else.
So making them love us has got to be a big part of corporate planning these days, right? Anyway, that's what crossed my mind when I got this email from Flickr:
Hi Ann Althouse!
You may have heard on the grapevine that we planned to reward our dear Flickr members who bought a Pro Account in the early days. Well, it's true! And since you're one of those lovely people, here's a little something to say YOU ROCK!
1. Double what you paid for!
Your original 2 year pro account has been doubled to 4 years, and your new expiry date is Mar 30, 2009.
2. More capacity!
Now you can upload 2 GB per month.
3. 2 free Pro Accounts to give away to your friends!
This won't be activated for a day or two, but when it is, you'll see a note on your home page telling you what to do.
Thank you so much for putting your money where your mouth is and supporting us, even while we're in beta. Your generosity and cold, hard cash helped us get where we are today.
Love, love, love.
UPDATE: I only gave them $80.