though American Airlines (with it's miles) and American Express (with credit card points) are credited as being trailblazers in granting customer's rewards, Charlie and I were far ahead of them in spotting the appeal of this powerful idea. Excited by our insight;, the two of us jumped into the reward business back in 1970 by buying control of a trading stamp operation, Blue Chip Stamps. In taht year, Blue Chip had sales of $126 million, and its stamps papered California. In 1970, indeed, about 60 billion of our stamps were licked by savers, pasted into books, and taken to Blue chip redemption stores. Our catalog of rewards was 116 pages thick and chock full of tantalizing items. When I was told that even certain brothels and mortuaries gave stamps to their patrons, I felt I had finally found a sure thing. Well, not quite. From the day Charlie and I stepped into the Blue Chip picture, the business went straight downhill. By 1980, sales had fallen to $19.4 million. And, by 1990, sales were bumping along at $1.5 million. No quitter, I redoubled my managerial efforts. Sales then fell another 98%. Last year, in Berkshire'ss $98 billion of revenue, all of $25,920 came from Blue Chip. Ever hopeful, Charlie and I soldier on.

— Warren Buffett  

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