What happened next was textbook entrepreneurship. On various days, Gonzalez would post on Facebook that he was making a run for Krispy Kremes and would gather orders. The day before pickup, he would call the manager of the closest Krispy Kreme — which happened to be in Clive, Iowa — to prep his order. Then, at 2 am, Gonzalez would leave for the EIGHT HOUR roundtrip to the Clive Krispy Kreme where he would purchase 100 boxes of glazed Krispy Kreme donuts that he would then deliver to his customers in multiple Target parking lots all the way home. Jayson would buy the donuts for $7.99 and sell them for $17 to $20 – with the goal of paying his way through school at Metropolitan State University.
It was a fantastic story. Right up until the time Krispy Kreme heard about it and told Jayson to shut it down.
We don’t always get it right the first time.
If you’re a business leader long enough, you’re going to have pivotal moments where you make solid decisions for all the right reasons that are still wrong. It didn’t take Krispy Kreme long to realize they had made one of those decisions. I mentioned before that I was sure I’d like Krispy Kreme’s management and culture, and that’s because it takes great vulnerability and leadership to admit when you’re wrong.
Krispy Kreme could have made the call and moved on. But they didn’t. They took a second to regroup, reconsider, and do the right thing. In fact, not since the Starbucks CEO personally flew to Philadelphia to apologize to two black men who were falsely arrested in their store have I seen such a fantastic response to something that could have been incredibly negative.
When Krispy Kreme first heard about Jayson Gonzalez, their immediate inclination was to shut him down, frankly, for all the right reasons. He wasn’t associated with Krispy Kreme other than as a consumer. They had no quality control over the product he was delivering and any number of things could have been wrong with a random guy buying 100 boxes of their donuts and reselling them in Target parking lots across 250 miles. Their kneejerk reaction would have been fully justified and the final word.
But it wasn’t. In large part due to Jayson Gonzalez’s emotionally mature response.