Red Balloon founder Naomi Simpson is a CEO with a difference. She calls herself the Chief Experience Officer, focusing as much on the gifting experience as the work experience for her employees. It is why Red Balloon has won the Best Places to Work award for two consecutive years, besides grabbing several other awards such as Ernst & Young’ regional Entrepreneur of The Year.
In an interview with Anthill’s Cynthia Karena, Simpson recalls the circumstances in which she started out her online gift-buying venture – months after the first dotcom crash of 2001. She says her focus was on creating something that couldn’t be done without the Internet. Simpson also talks about what she has learned, over the past decade, about business, entrepreneurship, creating an “experience” in gifting and managing social media.