I'm the Co-founder and CEO of The Grommet. We launch undiscovered consumer products. It's also the birthplace of Citizen Commerce. I write about design, cultural anthropology, and start-ups, mostly.

Grommet in the wild (can I call a person a Grommet?)

I had the pleasure of hearing author and WSJ columnist Jeffrey Zaslow speaking last night, at a Carnegie Mellon alumni event.  We featured his wonderful book about friendship on Grommet last year.

You probably know his most prominent book which is an international phenomenon, having sold 5 million copies in the US alone, and translated into 47 languages:

And you might know his latest book:

But here’s the point of this post….if you ever have a chance to see Jeffrey speak, run, do not walk, to do it.  I went with a friend and he said:

These author things are often kind of lightweight because they are not comfortable speakers.  Ten minutes and then a Q and A.  But Zaslow!  It was long, but sooo worth it.   The first ten minutes he was like a stand-up comedian.  But the guy has worked with such interesting and inspirational people, and he has  a real gift for extracting the story within the story.  You know what it is like?  Like seeing Springsteen live.  Other musicians might just phone it in, but Springsteen totally delivers.  So does Jeffrey Zaslow!

Beyond that, Jeffrey was very gracious when we spoke and fondly remembered details of his Grommet experience.  I remember how excited we were to discover the book.  Our team devoured it and were delighted when the actual girls from Ames participated in our online discussion, alongside Zaslow.  It was a very rich day of conversation.  No wonder, with this author at the helm!

3 Responses to “Grommet in the wild (can I call a person a Grommet?)”

  1. Karl Eberhardt

    …I think there should be Honorary Grommet Status bestowed only on deserving individuals. Like a “knighting” if that is what its called.

    Just a side note, in surfing lingo “grommet” or “grom” as it is used more frequently means a kid surfer, not necessarily a beginner however. Sorta the way you might refer to little pests since they run in packs. It is a endearing label. The origin is from Australia and has been the surfer dialect since the 70’s. However, it supposedly was derived from the SoCal surfer term “gremmie” from the 50’s, which meant a “poser” of any age or just a kid surfer. In Sydney for years the hazing associated with becoming one of the clan in North Narrabeen included being strapped to a “grommet pole” naked!

    Reply
  2. julespieri

    Karl, Wow, I never heard about that Grommet pole. I was in San Diego two weeks ago and I ran into more people who knew the colloquial term than I ever find in the rest of the US, so I think that So Cal origin is correct.

    Reply
  3. Cyril

    Howdy! This really is my 1st comment right here so I wanted to present a simple shout out and show you I absolutely enjoy looking through your blog posts. Could you suggest any blogs

    Reply

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