This interview with Joel Peterson,chairman of JetBlue Airways and founder ofPeterson Partners, an investment firm, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Q. Were you in leadership roles or doing entrepreneurial things when you were younger?
A. We lived in a little town in central Michigan. I grew vegetables when I was 11 years old, and hired my little brother to deliver them around the neighborhood. That was my first entrepreneurial experience.
I always had a job. We were very middle class. My father was a geneticist, and biology professors didn’t make much money, so we had to work if we wanted spending money. I had a paper route, I was a dishwasher and a busboy. Between high school and college, I worked in a biochemistry lab, and I met these Ph.D. students who had messy apartments and wanted them cleaned. So I hired some people and started a business doing that.
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