In June 2009, Jive board member Bill Lanfri acquired a rare and special bottle of scotch that he hoped would be used to toast a special occasion at one of the companies he works with. About a year later, as a certain event began to take shape, he officially gave the bottle to Jive. It has sat in a locked case in our Palo Alto boardroom, waiting...Today, that famous bottle gets opened!
I had the awesome opportunity to interview Bill about Jive, social business, and scotch.
“I came into high-tech through a most serendipitous way – answering a newspaper ad at a young networking company back when the Apple II was king. I was seeking challenge and financial reward – and I’ve been blessed beyond my wildest dreams in that regard. But along the way I came across something else far more important – and to this day I’ve never found anything else like it.
When you get it right in a tech business like ours – you actually DO have a chance to change the world and leave it in a better condition than it was in when you started.
If you are in just one such company in your career – you are fortunate. So when my good friend and long-time colleague Jim Goetz asked me some four years ago to “stop by and meet with this young company Jive Software – they’re right there where you are in Portland – I think they are really on to something’” – I couldn’t resist.
Over those years I have tried to offer all I could to Jive’s growth, development, and success as adviser and board member -- as far more of the planet now knows -- Jive really IS changing the world. The mere potential for an impact of this kind is rare – and the conversion of that potential into real results is rarer still. But when it happens, it is very sweet indeed.”
What's the history behind the famous bottle of Macallan?
“In the spring of 2009, I had one of my Jive “aha moments.” The location was, of course, in Macallan, the main conference room in Jive’s Portland office. When Matt Tucker casually mentioned one day during a meeting that the oldest scotch he’d tasted was Macallan 25 – an idea came to me. I knew there was something more rare in England – 50 years old or more -- so I tracked the bottle down to be able to toast a rare event at Jive – an IPO!
We will be sharing on this bottle on Friday. For years, it was placed behind glass as subtle encouragement to the team that, “In case of liquidity event, break glass!”
What I didn’t anticipate was that the bottle would take on near-legendary status. From the press through the IPO bankers through virtually everyone at Jive, its fame has spread far and wide. It’s a great illustration of how business can be social and be far more effective than the “old way” could ever be.”
What will you toast to next?
“As we reflect on this moment – and this milestone on the Jive journey – my toast is twofold. First, of course, to that which we’ve accomplished to date – being a legitimate, respected public company is rare and most worthy of raising a glass in honor of the accomplishment.
But perhaps even more important – I toast to what Jive is on the path to become.
Not just the company that created and led the social business revolution for those early, innovative enterprise leaders, but the company that is going far beyond a revolution. To the company whose products are the foundation of THE mainstream new way of life in virtually every corner of business organizations large and small -- innovative or maybe not so much –- by truly changing the way work gets done.
And in its own small but very significant way -- making the world a better place. How does it get any better than that? “
I invite you each to raise a glass today in celebration of all that you have done to help make Jive and social business a success. You are truly pioneers. Thank you for the inspirational work you have done to date, and I look forward to see what the future has in store. Comment below to share with Bill how Jive has helped you change the way work gets done.