Joe Stump on How Small Town Michigan Childhood Shapes Values

In Chapter 7 of 16 of his 2009 Capture Your Flag interview, web entrepreneur Joe Stump reflects on how growing up in a small, Midwestern Michigan town shaped his values and sense of loyalty to friends, family, and colleagues.


Erik Michielsen:  You spent the majority of your childhood and college growing up in Michigan.  How did that experience kind of contribute to the character and shape who you are today?

Joe Stump:  In Michigan, as you know, lots of good people.  Good, down home, regular folk.  The way things are there, you are brought up in the community to look after each other, take care of each other, support each other, that kind of thing. Everyone is closely connected.  The town where I grew up in was only 3,000 people. 

Everyone knew everyone else.  My parents went to school with everyone else’s parents.  There is a lot of history in that community.  Moving on from Michigan, the thing I notice about me that is different compared to friends that have grown up in the big city, there are core community values that maybe aren’t…

Erik Michielsen:  That speaks to your loyalty.  You are very loyal as a friend and also professionally.