Sherwin Greenblatt, Conversation with Glenn Mangurian
The inaugural event for the University of Massachusetts Pioneers of Innovation Series was held on January 31, 2007. The featured guest was Sherwin Greenblatt, retired President of Bose Corporation. Sherwin was interviewed by Glenn Mangurian, University of Massachusetts "Executive in Residence." The topic was "Sustainability the Bose Way: Innovation with Style." Jack Wilson, President of the University of Massachusetts, hosted the program. The following are excerpts from that conversation.
President Wilson: As I thought about introducing Sherwin and Bose Corporation, I started to think about companies founded in the 1960s: Digital Equipment, Data General, and Polaroid. Thinking about the history of those companies helps us to realize just how tough it is to be successful-to head in much the same direction for a pretty long time and yet to be innovative enough to stay current, which Bose has managed to do. Unlike those companies, Bose has endured for more than 40 years as a preeminent corporation.
Sherwin was the first employee of Bose. He started as a project engineer, worked on early development of Bose high-fidelity loudspeakers and related electronic systems. He held the positions of chief engineer, director of engineering-and then became an executive vice president and for 15 years the company's president.
Sherwin is both a community leader and a professional leader. He served as chair of the Metro West Chamber of Commerce and chair of the board of trustees at Framingham State College, not far from where he lives. And since its inception, Sherwin has served on the board of the Center for Quality Management, of which Bose Corporation is a founding member.
Sherwin retired from Bose several years ago, but people like Sherwin-really high-achieving individuals-never actually retire. In August 2005, President Susan Hockfield of MIT asked him to join her team serving as interim executive vice president and treasurer.
In addition, Sherwin serves as director of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service, which is recognized nationally as a premier volunteer organization that focuses on bridging the gap between academia and the business world. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Band of Boston, and he serves on the Graduate Advisory Board at Babson College. Sherwin received his Bachelor of Science degree and his Master's degree in electrical engineering from MIT. Mr. Greenblatt, we're glad to have you with us.
Glenn M.: Welcome. It's amazing that we think back to the 1960s and remember companies like KLH, AR and Bose. Bose is the only one that still exists. How did you happen to connect with Dr. Bose and end up as employee #1?
Sherwin Greenblatt: I was finishing my graduate work, getting my Master's degree. In those days, I was so deeply in debt, the only thing I could think of was getting a real job, paying off my loans and getting on with my life. I was looking at the aerospace industry. That was the up-and-coming field. I thought I would go to work for a nice big company.
Out of the blue one day, Dr. Bose, my thesis advisor, said, "You know, some of this stuff we've been working on, we could probably make some practical products that people would like to have." And I said, "Yeah, that's very interesting, but I really need a job." And so he came back to me again, and he said, "You know, I'm really thinking about making products out of this stuff, and we've worked so closely together, why don't you join my company?" I looked at him and asked, "What company? What are you talking about?" We'd been working together for a number of years, and I had never heard anything about it. And he said, "Well, I'm thinking of starting a company. Would you like to be the first employee?"
I was blown away. I had never thought of being an entrepreneur or going with a small company. I had some real reasons to take "the monkey off my back." But I thought about it and then asked myself, Look, what better time in your life to take a chance? I had this wonderful education. I can always get a job as an engineer in one of the companies that I was looking at. Why not take the chance now and see what happens. Yet I recognized even then that the probability of success was small. I mean, even the best ideas that start from scratch often don't succeed. But I thought, maybe I'll learn something. In a moment of craziness, I said, "yes." That was really the way it started.
Glenn M: What year was that?
Sherwin Greenblatt: It was 1964. When I finished my thesis work and satisfied the requirements for a degree ?things were different in those days-with MIT's knowledge, I was able to move my MIT research work aside and put the work that would form the start of Bose Corporation on my workbench at MIT. So we actually started on a workbench in one of the research buildings. For the first two months of our existence, that's where I worked.
Glenn M: When did the vision of what the company might be start to emerge?
Sherwin Greenblatt: In the time that led up to the formation of the company, we talked a lot about the vision of the company. The thing that excited me out of these conversations was the idea of what the company would be.
We really didn't think we'd be an audio company. In fact, my area was electronics, electronic circuitry. We had good ideas in that area, but we also realized that a lot of exciting technology was emerging at that time. We both wanted to have a company whose mission would be to develop new technology and then to find a way in which to use that technology in products (or maybe even in services) that would somehow make people's lives better. That was the possibility that motivated us. It was a very, very idealistic way to start. For me, a young engineer with no experience in business, it was very, very exciting.
It seemed like a mission-but it wasn't a mission with a technology or in a field. It was a mission of how we were going to go about our business. It turns out that was the best thing that we had ever done, because even today if you talk to people in the company, they will understand that mission and understand that that's what the company is all about.
Glenn M: Early on, as you started to form the business and brought other people onboard, what types of people were you attracting?
Sherwin Greenblatt: Well, you have to understand the shoestring we started with, Glenn. The first year I was the only employee. We couldn't afford anybody else. In the first year, I did all the jobs. I was the engineer, but I also did the purchasing. I was the receptionist who answered the phone, and I kept the floors clean. Later, nobody could come to me and say they had a job that I didn't understand, because I had done them all.
Initially, we looked for technical people who had that same idealism, who wanted to make the world a better place-people who could buy into our mission. We assembled a wonderful, wonderful group of very dedicated people. We didn't know what the field would be, but we knew that's what we wanted to do.
Glenn M: How was the company financed initially?
Sherwin Greenblatt: Ha! ? We were two engineers who had no business experience, so we didn't know about financing. It didn't take very long, though, once we started to realize that we really did need some money. Initially, there was a small group of people, what we call today "family and friends." (Or some people call it "family, friends and fools"!) To this day, I have no idea what these people saw in us, because we had no business experience, we had no product. We had some vague technologies. Somehow these people put up a small amount of money that got us started. And once we recognized that we needed some money, we said, "Well, where can we go get some money so that we can operate?" Where do we all get money if we can? We get it from the government.
In the early days, we became a government contractor. A lot of our technology had applications in the military, space and transportation. Those were areas on which the country was concentrating in those days. We were able to get small research contracts and early development contracts. Although we didn't realize it at the time, those contracts were really key to our success, because they provided cash flow. The government work didn't make us wealthy-you never get wealthy working for the government, at least not if you're a small company. ? maybe big companies do. But what we could do was keep the roof over our heads.
Dr. Bose was teaching full-time at MIT. We still couldn't afford his salary. In the early years, we had what we called the two-shift operation. During the day, the few of us who were there would work on our government contract work. We were very diligent. It was very challenging work that was advancing the state of the art. However, at the end of the day, we would put all that away. Dr. Bose would come out in the evenings, and we would work on the other stuff that was more for commercial purposes. This is where our ideas in audio emerged. It was kind of this two-shift operation. If you don't mind working 10- or 12-hour days, it's not really too bad!
Glenn M: When did the first commercial product emerge? And what was the product?
Sherwin Greenblatt: In 1965. The first product that had commercial possibilities was a loudspeaker. It came from about 10 years of research that had gone on just in terms of curiosity about what makes good sound. The product was called the 2201 loudspeaker. People who work at Bose have seen the model. It's a weird-looking product. It was great in performance, but totally impractical for the marketplace. We came out with the product in 1965 and struggled with it for three or four years. It was a total failure in the market.
Glenn M: Were there times in which you thought the company might not succeed?
Sherwin Greenblatt: Many times. For the first four years, we were in business by a shoestring with just barely enough cash flow to keep the doors open. There were times on Wednesday that I didn't think we would make our payroll on Friday. Somehow, though, some miracle would happen-we'd get a check from the government or something and we'd survive though that time. And you know, in any company that develops in the technology field, there are points in development when you wonder whether there will be a tomorrow. If I think back, there were maybe four or five times in the growth of Bose when literally we questioned whether there would be a tomorrow.
Glenn M: What was the turning point that caused the company to accelerate, the first turning point?
Sherwin Greenblatt: We started in 1964 and went along in this bumpy manner, and then in 1967, three years later, we were no further along. We were barely existing. The problem was that we had been running this so-called two-shift operation for four years, which meant 12- or 14-hour days. It also meant seven days a week and 365 days a year. We were young and strong, but I have to tell you, at that pace you run down. Everybody runs down.
We got to the point in 1967 where we said, "We just can't keep this up anymore. We're clearly on a path where we can grow with our government business. We're nowhere in our commercial business. So, if we want to make a rational decision, what we should do is drop all the ideas of commercial business and become a government contractor." That's what everything pointed to then, and we recognized that we had to do something, because we couldn't go another year that way.
We had a lot of long discussions, and finally we said, "Look, we've tried this audio business for three years now and haven't been successful, but in fact, we've learned a lot. We've made a huge number of mistakes, but we've learned from them. So let's try once more, and if we succeed, great; and if we don't, we all agree we'll drop any attempts at the audio business and become a government contractor."
Dr. Bose had generated some ideas about the right kind of product and the right way to design it. We had even learned something about marketing and selling. We spent three or four months of very intense work. Everybody was rejuvenated at this one last try. We worked on developing this product concept to a point where it could be made commercially.
In early 1968, we introduced the Model 901 loudspeaker, and that was a turning point for the company. It was the right product. It was expensive, but at least it was affordable. We had learned about how to introduce and how to market products. From that point, on the company started taking off in the commercial business. By 1970, '71, the government business was small, because everything else had grown so much. The company was really launched in the audio business.
Glenn M: Was Dr. Bose more involved at that point, or was he still primarily on the faculty?
Sherwin Greenblatt: In those early years, he was on the MIT faculty full time. Later, he took a half-time appointment on the faculty and spent the other half of his time at Bose. That half-time, shared commitment between MIT and the company remained until his retirement from MIT about five years ago. He split his time between work with his students and work at Bose. In truth, he was and still is a great contributor to the business - he plays a major role. In addition, he's a great teacher, a fantastic lecturer. He loved to lecture and work with students
Glenn M: So, now if we roll the tape forward through the seventies and eighties, how did the company change as you started to have success?
Sherwin Greenblatt: Everything changes-that was one of the great things about my career. Now that I've retired I can really appreciate that I was able to start with one person and then hire another one, then another and then, over the years, grow from a company that was very small to a company that today has 10,000 employees and operations everywhere.
Of course, you change. When you're small, you see each other every day. You know everybody's name. You talk with everybody informally. You know what they do. It's a small group. As you grow, that familiarity begins to fall apart. You can't see everybody every day, so you have to see them more formally; you have meetings. Not everybody knows what's going on, so you need to start reporting. Everybody needs to know what the rules are, so you need to write them down. An organization goes through all these levels of maturity. You begin to build structure so people can have a job that they can handle. They rely on other colleagues to do their part and then have it all come together.
Glenn M: If you look back, why has Bose succeeded, whereas others are no longer in business?
Sherwin Greenblatt: I'd have to say luck first, because there is an element of luck to anything that you do. I think first of all, and possibly most important, is that we started with a principle that's enduring. We didn't start saying, "We want to make a loudspeaker that people will like." We said, "We want to take technology and commercialize it and make peoples' lives better." That's an enduring principle that grows with the company. If you ask any Bose employees today, they'll repeat that same vision. And, so it scales. That's one of the things that help it endure.
I think the other advantage is that we didn't know much about business. It turns out that was a phenomenal advantage; although we didn't know how to do a lot of things, we also didn't know what couldn't be done. And that is very powerful. In the early days, when we were figuring out how to run and how to build the business, we would tackle challenge as we would an engineering problem: What are the parameters? What are the considerations? What are the goals? How do we build something that will get us from here to there?
One of the problems was that we never knew how big we might become. When you're sitting with a small company, how big are you going to make it? We never knew, because we didn't understand what the limitations might be. You know, maybe today sophisticated businesspeople would say, "Well, there's a market of such a size, so you can only grow to be this big," or something like that. We didn't know that.
We were in the audio business. Who's our market? Well, it's everybody in the world who likes good music. There are 6 billion people in the world. Maybe a billion don't like music at all, so our market is 5 billion people! That's a huge number. The question is, How do you reach them?
We tried to put in place organizations, systems and policies that were scalable. What happens if everything is twice the size? Do these ideas work? Does this organization work, if not, how will it evolve? We were always thinking about scalability. As I look back, that was very powerful in making an enduring company. Even today, my colleagues are still using the systems and ideas that we put in place 20, 30 years ago. That's amazing to me. But that's one of the ways in which you gain that endurance.
Glenn M: When I think of Bose, I think of exceptional quality and also exceptional style. When did the value proposition of style with quality come into being?
Sherwin Greenblatt: Almost, I think, from the start. The idea of how to sell something in the marketplace was one that we also talked about a lot. What kinds of products are good? We first looked for technical ideas that were different from everybody else's. Most businesspeople look at what the competition does and say, "OK, we'll do the same thing, but we're a company that's better, so somehow we'll be better than the competition." That's a hard, hard road to follow. If you're in the middle of the pack, just running harder because you think you're going to get to the front ? it's very difficult, because everybody else is running harder too. So we'd look for ideas that were different-maverick ideas that nobody else was pursuing and that nobody else would pursue-but ideas that we thought were good. I have to say that given an MIT background, we were in perhaps a better position to evaluate the ideas than a lot of our competitors that weren't as technically sophisticated as we were.
We would look for ideas that would differentiate us. One of the things we learned in those early days was that if people don't recognize that you have something different, they're not going to know it! Just because you have something different inside, people are not going to know that your product is special. So we talked a lot about how we could communicate that message.
The conventional way is to run ads and say, "We have this; we have that." But what we observed was that every company takes that approach. It doesn't even matter whether what they say is true. The problem is that consumers can't tell the difference, so how do they know? We said we had to find other ways of communicating the message. If you look at the style of advertising and at the content of Bose's publications and communications, the style and content are different from what everybody else produces. The advertising and publications are all aimed at communicating the message that there is something different and special inside the product.
To me, style is one element of that communication. You have to make the product look different, and you have to get people to take stock and say, "Wow! What's this all about?" before they can get the message.
Glenn M: Let's talk about the commitment to research that Bose has. You might also touch on the fact that Bose is still a privately held company.
Sherwin Greenblatt: That goes back to what we talked about in terms of scalability. When we started, we observed that some MIT faculty members had ideas and got patents on them but didn't really want to start their own company, so they would go to businesspeople who would say, "OK, we'll start the company for you, and you can be part of the company. You can be the technical officer or something like that." The problem was that inevitably the inventor didn't have very long tenure with the company. Somehow after four or five years, they would move on, or more often than not, the professor would get thrown out of the company.
What we wanted was a company that would last. In the early years, we said that maybe it's best to keep the amount of money that we take externally to a minimum. I remember that all came to a head after we had success with the 901 and the company was growing very quickly. Our bankers came in to talk to us. They were reviewing our financials and telling us about how well we were doing. They said, "Well, now that you're growing at this rate, you are going to need more money. You're going to have to go to the till, and you're going to have a stock offering. We'd love to help you with your stock offering." We knew that they wanted to dip their hands into the company and get a piece of it. After they left, Dr. Bose and I were sitting at the table, looking at each other and saying, "They said we're going to have to go to the till as if it were God's will, God says you will have to issue stock." Being engineers and not businesspeople, we didn't understand why that was so. We sat down with pencil and paper and made some models of how the company worked as it grew. We couldn't solve the equations directly. We made a big spreadsheet and started cranking the numbers of what happens when a company grows.
It took me two weeks to work the whole problem. You know, when we worked it out, we discovered that if we grow at a certain rate, and we need a certain amount of investment to finance that growth, we would have to get it somewhere, and one of the places that we could get it is by making it, by being profitable. So we looked at the numbers, and it seemed like the profit that we'd have to make to grow at the rates that we were thinking of ? it seemed like we could do that. When I talk about scalability, we built that into the models of how we run the company. The model of the company is that it has to be run internally financed so that we could remain private.
The interesting thing is that as the company developed, that model was a powerful factor in guiding us into what businesses and in what directions the company would go. People would have these great ideas for products and this great technology, and then we would do an analysis on it, and we would discover that, yeah, it's great, but inherently it creates a business that needs huge investment for the amount of returns. So we'd say, "No. We can't go into that business." Then we'd find something that was really good-that was a great technology that could make a good business and could finance itself. Those were the products we invested in.
At first I thought, there's not going to be anything for us to do. We'll run out of all these good things, and we'll have to do bad things. But what I learned is that if you have good people, very clever, very smart people who are dedicated to what they're doing, they'll find solutions. Challenge them, and they'll find solutions. It was astonishing to me how, year after year, to this very day, within the framework that we built, these clever, clever people who work hard and are so motivated ?they come up with new ideas that work, and they work in all the different ways. It's astonishing!
Glenn M: I don't know whether we're at the beginning or in the middle of the digital revolution that's going on with music and video and all the different devises. How might that revolution impact Bose going forward?
Sherwin Greenblatt: To a large extent, in the audio field, consumer electronics is computers. So, if you look inside a modern Bose product, it's actually a computer. It's already completely digital. You may not know it, but that's what it is. So the revolution has taken place. What hasn't happened is that at the edges of technology, people haven't found necessarily better ways. So, over the years, a loudspeaker has turned out to be the best way of taking electrical energy and converting it to acoustic energy. We've tried ? Bose has tried over the years to find other, more efficient ways of converting that electrical energy or producing better sound or providing other benefits ? and it's a tribute to the people who, in the 1920s, I guess, invented the loudspeaker that it turns out to be a very, very good mechanism. It's like a motor ? you can think of it as a motor, and it's a fantastic thing. Bose is fortunate to have built its business at this interface between electronics and acoustics, which seems to be enduring. So, no matter what digital product people come up with, it still needs something to generate that acoustic energy. That's where Bose sits, and it's proved to be an enduring position.
Glenn M: When you think back to your 40 years with?40 years, is that right?
Sherwin Greenblatt: Thirty-eight years when I retired.
Glenn M: I worked for a firm for 21 years, and I thought that was a long time! I doubt that anybody in this room will have worked for a firm as long as you have. That says something about you, also. What is your fondest memory when you look back?
Sherwin Greenblatt: There's not one memory, but the most fun was to take an idea that's nothing-that's a maverick idea, that's something different-and then to conceive how it could be made practical-how it could be made into a practical product-and how to create a market where there isn't anything, how to introduce something that people never even thought of. We call that the latent needs. You read a lot of market research that says, "Ask people what they want"-and that's what you should do, but that's missing the big opportunity. The big opportunity is to figure out what people would love to have but never even thought to ask, and then to find the technology or develop the technology, to develop the product, bring it to market so that people know about it and appreciate it, and then to see people using your product. Or as I experienced several times today, to have people come up to you and tell you how much they enjoy this product or that product, and I can remember when it was a gleam in someone's eye, and people didn't even think it was practical, didn't even think we should develop it. That's really ? there's so much satisfaction in that. It's incredible!
Glenn M: I can understand that. Let's take a few questions from the floor.
Audience: I've heard that Bose is doing research on automotive suspensions. Is that true?
Sherwin Greenblatt: Well, remember I told you the concept for the company. The concept didn't have audio in it. It had interesting technology. So, the technology that evolved in the development of Bose was the technology of making electromechanical transducers-electrical energy that makes mechanical motion, which is what a loudspeaker is.
If you think about how a car works, the wheels want to go up and down, but the body doesn't want to go up and down. If you could build a motor that would keep the body stable but let the wheels go up and down, you'd have this amazing suspension. That's an electromechanical transducer. The equations of that are the same as the equations of a loudspeaker. The scale may be different, and it may look different to most people, but from a technical point of view, it's similar.
Dr. Bose made that observation. He said, "You know, I bet we can take a lot of the systems work that we've done on loudspeakers and apply it to the suspension of a car." We were thinking about cars because we had become a supplier of sound systems to the auto industry. When you're a supplier to the auto industry, you kind of get sucked into the industry. It's a very exciting industry.
You learn about what the industry is; you learn about what the problems are. Our idea was to have an electronically controlled system where the suspension follows the road-the wheels follow the road, but the body of the car just keeps moving along. It took about 15 years to build a prototype car, because there's ground-up mechanical work to be done, but also a lot of electronics and systems work to figure out how to do the mechanical work.
The car is still in prototype form. I can tell you, having personally driven the car, it's astonishing.
The car just flies along. It literally just flies steadily over the road. When it comes to market, it will be a revolution in the automotive industry. It's expensive. Right now it's heavy, so it doesn't do for fuel consumption what you'd like it to do, but, you know, a lot of things start that way. When it is broadly available, it will revolutionize the ride experience for passengers.
Audience: How had Bose been able to maintain its pricing strategy in such a competitive sector?
Sherwin Greenblatt: One of the things we learned early on is that if you want to build a company, you have to have a product that's profitable. We also learned that you have to have a product that people want to sell. So, what happened in the audio industry is that it became an industry focused on new. New is good, not new is not good. The perception had nothing to do with the quality of the product.
Things would come out for a year, and there would be good sales. Then after a year, the distributors, the retailers, would say, "This product isn't any good anymore," and they would lower the price. When the price got too low, they didn't make any money on the product, so they didn't want to sell it any more. Then they'd go to the manufacturer and say, "Nobody wants to buy your product anymore. We need a new one." So all of the effort in the industry had come to making new things.
Pretty soon, new became a joke, at least to people in the industry. New, was like cars used to be-a new grill or something like that. So all the money was going into new, and nothing was going into quality or value. We said, "We can't play that game. We have to get out of that game, and the only way we can get out of it is if we have products whose value to the consumer is enduring, is valued more than just a year-for three, four, five years. Then we can take our money and make the next breakthrough in technology."
The key to solving the problem was pricing. If retailers lowered the price, they would make less margin, and they wouldn't want to sell that product any more. Instead they would want to sell a new model with full margin. And so we were able to find a solution. We were able to find a business method that would allow us to offer one price for our product, and that price would be the same everywhere. No matter who you bought it from, no matter how you bought it, it would be the same price.
Well, it turns out that if you talk to a retailer and he's honest with you, he'll tell you that it's not the price that's his concern. It's that somebody else will sell the product for less. So, if you say that nobody will sell it for less, all the retailers believe that's OK, because they can gain the lion's share of the sales since they're so good at what they do.
This was a novel idea in our industry, and we were serious about it; we made it stick. It had some potentially negative consequences, but we figured out how to make the program work. To this day it's the program that Bose uses in offering its products. Price is not a factor when you buy a Bose product. That's always the case. The choices you make are based on whom you'd like to buy the product from, how you'd like to buy it, who will give you the best service, who has the best display, who best explains the product, who gives you the feeling of confidence in the product and service-and that's what we think retailers should offer. The idea works, it has been enduring, and it has let Bose continually introduce innovations and technology.
Audience: Is the foundation of Bose based on noise reduction technology?
Sherwin Greenblatt: Let me make a couple of comments. That's one of the most interesting technologies to me, because the concept for it goes back to the 1970s. We had the equations for how to do it, but we didn't actually know how to do it commercially. Over the years, we just kept investing money in research, trying to figure out how to do it. In the mid-1980s, we finally came up with a design, but it proved to be a very, very difficult technology to actually master. It took a lot of work, yet as we began to see the applications, we invested more and more money. Still, the progress was very slow, and so I was advised by many of my colleagues that it was crazy for us to pursue that technology-that it was going to cost too much to develop it, that nobody would ever buy a product like that because it was going to be too expensive, and that I should drop the program.
The pressure was intense to drop the program, but we saw the potential, and we saw the goodness. Remember, the idea was how to make people's lives better. So, we kept investing in the technology, which was something we could do only because of the business practices we pursued. We finally got to the point where we gained control of the technology, and then with the knowledge that we had of how to market and sell products, we were able to introduce the products that are so well known today.
I'd also like to add that it's a product, like many of our other products, which has to do with the philosophy of making many people's lives better. Our philosophy really is, how can we reach the most people? We recognized that we could make very, very expensive products, but they would reach only a tiny sliver of the market, the "audiophiles" who buy the most expensive because they can hear tiny differences. What we said was, "That's not the position for us. The position we need to be in is where we can reach masses of people. The product will still be expensive, so we won't reach everybody, but it has to be a product that will reach many, many people." It has to be a product that's easy to understand-what it does, not how it does it-and easy to use. Those were important criteria.
The home electronics industry that we grew up in was an industry of more "buttons" and more "knobs." It was an engineer's industry where the feeling was that the more you could put on the product, the better it will be. We deviated from that idea and said, "If we want lots of people to use the product, we have to make it usable by lots of people."
For example, we told our engineers that any product we bring to market has to be a product that your mother can use-and we'd actually make them try to develop it that way! At first the engineers said, "That's impossible! We can never make it like that." But, as I say, clever people can figure these things out. If you look at the products today, they are very sophisticated on the inside, but very easy to use on the outside. That, I think, is also one of the things that sets the company apart.
Glenn M: To the group that's here, I think that over the last 40 minutes, you've come to understand why I chose Sherwin as my first guest. Not only is he an incredible pioneer and executive, but what a nice man! What a genuinely nice person to talk to! Sherwin, we appreciate your being with us.