Great ideas come from everywhere if you just listen and look for them. You never know who's going tohave a great idea.
Chapter 4 Swimming Upstream
While Ron and Ferold were helping me run the company, and well before David joined us in themid-seventies, Jack Shewmaker was coming on strong as a big talent. He had done a fantastic job inopening stores. Jack had been the manager of a Kroger SuperCenter which was a concept combininggroceries and general merchandise not unlike our own supercenters today. So he had been a merchant,but he wasn't overly experienced when I hired him. He was in that first wave of college men I had startedto hire, and, being a graduate of Georgia Tech, he had that engineer's love of systems and organizationthat we were still badly in need of. By now, I was really surrounding myself with guys who were good atall the things I tended to just sluff off, like organizing the company to handle the growth explosion we hadstarted. If I hadn't gone after those folks, and kept on doing it, we would have come apart somewherethere in the seventies, or we certainly wouldn't have been able to pull off our really incredible expansion inthe eighties. Getting an early start on all these systems, building a foundation for our distribution centerdevelopment, starting to put data processing into the stores, really saved our bacon later on.