Real estate in New York? It just ain’t cheap. In fact, it’s so expensive that even if you have a successful business you might not be able to afford it.
Case in point? Look no further than Restoration Hardware. The American chain of home furnishings, hardware, and outdoor and garden products may be worth over a billion dollars in revenue as of 2012, but Steve Jobs once had to personally bail the company out.
In an interview with Fortune, Restoration Hardware founder Stephen Gordon talked about the time when Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs had to baul him out in New York, after they opened a new store in the Flatiron district:
“Perhaps one of the biggest [mistakes we made] occurred in New York City, where we opened a successful store in the Flatiron district. We thought we’d do the same in SoHo but didn’t realize that SoHo was all about new, offbeat, and irreverent. We were in the old SoHo post office and did millions in sales, but in New York, you need mega-millions to afford the real estate. Fortunately, I was able to survive the mistake by selling the lease to Steve Jobs when he was just starting Apple stores and made quite a profit.
Of course, Restoration Hardware’s location eventually became an Apple Store, which made the requisite mega-millions, while Gordon himself managed to escape to better real estate offers. Still, it’s interesting to see the ways in which Jobs managed to positively touch the world, even when he wasn’t trying.