Federal Express has changed the air freight business by sending packages through a single location. Founder Fred Smith picked his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Packages are brought in at night, sorted, and sent out again by morning.
To build his business, Smith hired entrepreneurs and former pilots, who were willing to get involved with the unusual business model. The executives and workers struggled in the early years as the business lost money. New ideas were always encouraged.
Smith originally envisioned Federal Express as part of the computer industry. It became a service for all users thanks to its marketing campaign. The advertising company mimicked the spirit of the business in its ads.
Smith learned to fly when he was 15 and served in the Vietnam War as an air controller. He credits his time in Vietnam with his drive to succeed with Federal Express.
Long-term employees talk about Federal Express' success and how it differs from the early days. The entrepreneurial drive is no longer needed and the company has more discipline.
Credits: Fred Smith: Corporate Creativity (The Story of Federal Express)
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A look at Federal Express and its founder Fred Smith, whose idea of funneling packages through one central location revolutionized the air-freight industry.
Length: 30 minutes
Copyright date: ©1982
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