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Bean Counter

Leon Leonwood Bean. Not a very fancy name. Do you know who it is? It’s L.L.Bean. Recently I was reading the history of this man because I was wondering if he knew what the term entrepreneur meant. After all, it was 1911 when he got fed up with wet hunting boots. He didn’t have a vision or a dream he just wanted to have dry feet. That hunting trip he experienced brought him an epiphany that changed the world and the way business was done. The idea did not come out of a long thought process, it came out of a need. Plato’s quote “Necessity is the mother of invention” was boldly painted on the former Jr. High School auditorium where I attended in Lynn, Massachusetts. I wrote the theme song for graduation and as I stood on stage all I could see was that enormous quote. L.L. instinctively knew about necessity being a Down Maine guy.

Most business owners don’t talk much about their mistakes in the beginning of their ventures. It comes out after many years of success. He did have many failures but was determined. Sound like anyone else we know? Did the Demoulas family use this as their model for success growing Market Basket? Should we use his model for success? My guess is “yes”.

L.L.’s success was based on a few basic things:

  • Committed
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Kindness
  • Philanthropy
  • Counted on word-of-mouth
  • Advertise; advertise (remember, he didn’t have the internet)
  • Diligently sought the needs of his clientele’
  • Kept current with the world
  • Gave more than expected


Marvin Website Design bases their business on the above points. We believe in superior customer service, professionalism, honesty and integrity.

All of the above are character traits. How many do you have? Ask yourself this question to clarify things: I just want to______________________.

If you would like to read the history for yourself go to: