So, you can pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time? Impressive. Chew gum and drink coffee? Impressive, but not recommended. Ah, but can you get books made while taking phone calls? Many, many books? Here’s how blogger Tim Taylor discovered the peculiar juggling skills of Blurb CEO Eileen Gittins:
Yesterday I was speaking with a reporter who was doing a piece on early stage ventures led by women and the issues and challenges they face in the start-up financing world. The majority of CEOs and investors I meet are men.
…As I spoke to the reporter, I kept going back to Eileen Gittins of blurb who in my 4+ years in the venture world understood it and navigated it better than anyone I’d met. I’ll freely admit that not only is she execution oriented she has a huge heart and is someone who I’m genuinely supportive of and cheering for (not that she really needs either because she’s a star).
[Here I have to interject and say: our PR guys didn’t write that. Honest.]
Anyway, I told the reporter that she should speak to Eileen and that I would try to connect them. I called blurb and sure enough (after the typical 3 minute VRU experience) when I called she picked up. We had a 2 minute conversation, she called the reporter and the next thing I knew the reporter had sent a photographer over to take pictures of her.
I told Eileen that I was sort of off balance when she picked up the phone (partially because her name is spoken by a male when I spelled the “first few letters of her last name” on the phone system, partially because I know how extraordinarily busy she is). Regardless it was a wonderful lesson for me, because who knows what would have happened if I didn’t get a hold of her?
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should admit that since Eileen is taking the Blurberati out for drinks tonight to celebrate the release of BookSmart 1.3, there’s definitely a warm and fuzzy vibe in the office right about now. But even without the happy hour looming, I’d still have to say that before I worked at Blurb, I often wondered what CEOs did all day. Now I know: Some of them make books professionally and personally, actually answer phones, and sometimes buy their hard-working bookmaking employees a round. Impressive, yes, and highly recommended.