Petalon Flowers make it impossible for me to hate them and yet they have all the attributes which, in a normal situation, would having me rolling my eyes and muttering about hipster bullshit. They are a Shoreditch-based flower company who deliver by bike - see what I mean? But, having been the lucky recipient of their gorgeous blooms and also from following them on Twitter, I can say that both their product and their service is simply brilliant.
Yesterday, I heard a story from my friend Celia. Here's what happened: Petalon offer a choice of two different arrangements each week, so Celia ordered one for our friend Vicky's birthday. An hour or so later, Celia received an email from Petalon saying that Vicky had 'liked' the other arrangement on Petalon's Instagram and "although [we] sound incredibly interfering", was wondering if Celia wanted to switch to the other option? Celia did and Vicky was over the moon.
In a post last year entitled "Do things that don't scale", Paul Graham wrote "You should take extraordinary measures not just to acquire users, but also to make them happy... Your users should feel that signing up with you was one of the best choices they ever made. And you in turn should be racking your brains to think of new ways to delight them". I bet Interflora wish they knew the name (and the best friend) of every customer. I'm sure M&S Flowers have spent thousands on special software and social media experts in order to join the dots between their Instagram followers and their recipients. What Petalon did to delight Celia, Vicky and, ultimately me, who heard the story over lunch - doesn't scale but it was an extraordinary measure which transcends hipsterishness and enters the realm of genius.