How an 8-Year Old Became Co-CMO


I have to share this story…it’s about how my son got offered the job of Co-CMO for Bazaarvoice.

Last week we had kids-at-work day. I brought in my 8-year-old son Kyle and 11-year-old daughter Haley in for half a day to experience my work. They were very excited, however, I had a number of meetings and conference calls. During these meetings my daughter colored, read, and ate ice cream. My son, on the other hand, walked the halls and started offering advice to our employees.

Soon, our Partnerships Director suggested he interview for a job. So, Kyle typed up an introductory letter and started interviewing with our recruiter and several Bazaarvoice managers. I still have no idea this is going on.

Soon Kyle gets into Brett’s office (our CEO). Brett interviews him and soon realizes that his skills of giving “tips, advice and opinions” on things like pricing and how to sell products align well with marketing. So he offers him the Co-CMO position — actually senior to me — paying $50/mo and 100 shares!

In the video below I compiled some clips that I and others collected that day, showing his interview with Brett and examples of the advice that he was giving me and our VP of Business Development, Brant Barton. None of this is staged for video, we just captured what was happening. He came up with all of this himself.

It doesn’t stop there. He collected 15 business cards and since Wednesday he’s been emailing my employees offering tips and advice ever since. He’s already given feedback on taglines, where we should have our summit next year, and how to approach partnership relationships. He also gave us some tagline ideas are:

  • Bringing more customers and costumers to companies
  • The ratings and reviews aggressiveness is sometimes how they make the company better.
  • Get ratings and reviews from home or on the move
  • Bazaarvoice builds other businesses way beyond wow by just doing ratings and reviews.

As a project, I suggested that he should read our web site and learn our products. His first job was to present back how he should market our products better. Here’s what he came up with, unedited:

We'll see where it goes from here, but I'm proud to be working for him! 🙂

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12 Responses

  1. Todd Humphrey says:

    Sam, that is one of the best blog posts i have read in a long time. I love the “kids at work” day that you guys have employed – from the sounds of it you should do it more often!!

  2. Baker Johnson says:

    Classic! I particularly ennjoyed his do’s and don’ts with resepect to the +/- 7 demos. I’m also impressed that he respects that conversations need to be quick and easy between consumers.
    Anyway, I have to go.

  3. Stephanie Bourdage-Braun says:

    Wow, I’m VERY impressed, in the spirit of your previous blog post, I think you’ve got a ROCKSTAR there! I loved the presentation, he gets social commerce.

  4. Gillian says:

    Kids today! That is really impressive; thanks for sharing it.

  5. Doc List says:

    Brilliant! Clearly some things are genetic, no matter what anyone says.

  6. Seth Greenberg says:

    We’re all working for Kyle. Sam is just a pass-thru!

  7. Ryan Cush says:

    I know a lot of people much older than 8 who could learn some presentation-building skills from Kyle. Most of his slides are refreshingly graphical, very memorable. And I like how he conveys his message using dialogue, truly telling a story. I’m going to use that one myself! Is he available during the school year for some consulting work?

  8. Ted Grigg says:

    If only we could become kids again and grasp the important things as easily as they do. Your son knows how to sell! Wow.
    Great post!

  9. Engago Team says:

    If all employees could speak out to their CEO, companies would be different and CEO’s would have less power.
    In many occasions employees are afraid or cannot to tell the truth.
    This is why you hire consultants, who are paid to tell the story they just picked up during their investigation by talking to the employees or by having a look from the outside to the company.
    In many cases the consultant tells what most employees knew already, but didn’t dare to tell.
    Your son has no fear, no responsibility, no chance of getting fired and if he says something the CEO doesn’t want to hear: then he’s just a kid again.

  10. Engago Team says:

    Still he has made a great presentation.

  11. Annette B. says:

    omg, Sam. He looks exactly like you!

  12. Sam Cheater says:

    Wow, very cool. I even kind of understand what your company does! Interesting concept also.

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