“‘Happy Grasshopper?’ How’d You Come Up With A Name Like THAT?”
That’s a question we get asked a lot. Sure, we get plenty of people who want to know how our service works (it really does, you know) and how Happy Grasshopper can help build businesses (it can, yes), but the story of how our happy little company found its name is one that lots of folks want to hear.
Here’s the thing: the real story, well … the real story might be less than exciting. It might just be that there was a brainstormed list of names for various online ventures of which Happy Grasshopper was one, and it might be that Dan & Celeste said, “I like it.” Sure, that might be how it happened and is no less a part of our history than anything else, but it’s an anecdote that doesn’t really carry the “joie de vivre” that people seem to be looking for.
So, given that we’re a full-service company that wants to deliver a full-service experience, we decided to give everyone what they’ve been so hungry for.
The Happy Grasshopper “Story”
Once upon a time, there was a conference: a bright, shiny conference with eager attendees and a cavalcade of inspiring speakers. There were plenty of outlets (Power! Charged batteries! What could be better?) and wifi whose speeds defied anything that Chuck Yeager had ever imagined. And OH! The swag. T-Shirts of the softest cotton and squeezy balls capable of removing stress with a single touch. It was like a dream.
Our own Dan Stewart was there. (It’s true. Kinda.)
With an captivating presentation on his iPad and a song in his heart, Dan had a few hours to kill before giving an illuminating talk about how good Customer Relationship Management could make a mediocre business better and could make a good business great. While he was mulling over his slide deck, he noticed something of a commotion happening nearby.
To Dan’s shock and awe, there were none other than Tony Hsieh and Gary Vaynerchuk … and they were jousting. On goats. (I KNOW! I found it hard to believe, too. But it’s true. Ish.)
The two were locked in an epic (no really … Homer was there taking notes about it for his new e-book: The Odyssey, Part Deux) battle to decide, once and for all, which was king in life & business. It was HAPPINESS vs. PASSION. Mano a mano, baby. They raced forward aboard their mighty steeds, their lances (did I mention that they were giant Q-Tips?) brandished. Which would be the victor? To whom would go the spoils?
“HAPPINESS!” bellowed Hsieh, whose little company, Zappos (you might have heard of it) had built its foundation on a culture of having outrageous love for its customers.
“PASSION!” was the battle cry of Gary Vee (as he’s come to be known), who, through sheer grit, determination, force of will, and flat-out drive, had taken his father’s modest wine shop and turned it into the cornerstone of one of the best and brightest social media success stories ever told.
“Guys, GUYS! Stop!” he said, running onto the pitch (which was curious, not to mention convenient, to find, given that they were backstage in a hotel ballroom). “Why does it have to be one or the other?” And they paused, lowered their arms, and mopped beads of sweat from their brows. “Why, INDEED?” they said in gleeful unison. “Whoa there, you’ve really hit on something! What’s your name?”
“Dan. Dan Stewart. And I think I have a great idea.”
“Are you ready to CRUSH IT, Dan Stewart?” Gary asked. Dan nodded, indicating he was ready to do just that. “SWEET,” said Tony. “Then you’re ready.”
The next thing Dan knew, he and Tony and Gary were hurtling down the highway in a DeLorean (the driver looked suspiciously like that guy who used to be on Taxi). The car came to a screeching halt on a suspension bridge, high above a pit of ill-tempered dolphins. A wild-eyed character (who Dan found out later was Jeff Turner) was waiting for them, laden with a curious assortment of cables, clamps, and all manner of suspicious-looking gear. It was to be (wait for it …) bungee jumping. (I KNOW. It’s hard to believe. But it’s true … esque.)
With nary a word, the three were trussed up, their feet bound with stretchy … things, ready to make a glorious leap of faith from the edge of that precipice. WHOOSH! Down they went. SPROING! As they plummeted downward, Dan’s mind began to sow seeds of love for the new company he was envisioning. It’d be a company that treated its customers like human beings, one that’d help forge real, human relationships, a service so simple that no one had yet thought of it. It was an idea whose time had come.
All of a sudden, the ropes snapped! Dan went careening toward the earth, his life flashing before his very eyes! As luck would have it, he landed in a bed of tulips, which, as everyone knows, are incredibly soft, and they broke his fall. Can you BELIEVE it? (I couldn’t either, but I swear … it’s TRUE. Sorta.)
As Dan lay amid the soft blooms, feeling more energized than he had in years, he saw that, on his landing, he’d narrowly missed squishing a beautiful little grasshopper.
“Whoa! Sorry, little fella! I almost took you out,” he whispered to the insect. “No problem, dude,” the grasshopper said. (Talking grasshopper? I KNOW. But it’s true. Sorta.)
“Wow. That’s one HAPPY GRASSHOPPER,” Dan thought to himself.
And the rest, as they say, is history. It’s true.