Provide brief on Jim McCann, the founder of 1-800-Flowers, including interests, focus, and outside work activities in order to prepare for a meeting
Jim McCann is known for his public speaking, in which he focuses on his personal business journey, and how he went from being a New York City social worker who bartended on the side to becoming the owner of one of the first successful e-commerce companies. He actively lectures on business and social issues, and has spoken at AT&T, IBM and Inc. 500, and been a speaker for a range of national and community organizations. His company 1-800-Flowers began when a bar patron told him he was selling his flower shop, and McCann felt drawn to the idea of brightening people’s days. In 2016, McCann stepped down as CEO to focus on philanthropic interests. McCann has a strong interest in helping others, and focuses largely on the benefits of human capital in the business world. It’s noted that Jim values being on the forefront of innovation, as he was a pioneer in both the branding of his company, the first to have its 800 number in the name, and one of the first companies to utilize the reach of the internet in the early 90s.
Jim is also the author of Talk Is (Not!) Cheap, in which he discusses how to engage in conversation as a leader in order to create momentum and inspire in the workplace It’s noted that Jim created a non-profit called Smile Farms alongside his siblings to support people with disabilities in finding work. One of his four siblings has a developmental disability. Jim is also interested in utilizing his business model to create more empathetic conversations around death, and given his customer service team is often dealing with grieving customers, in exploring how we can communicate more sympathetically with people around the topic.
Jim has invested in venture capital firm Compound, which funds Stanza, a calendaring technology run out of Stanford, which is used by eight million people.
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Provide a deeper dive into venture firm Compound, to understand what sort of companies McCann has supported through this investments