Early this year I was contacted by several historians who work for a business that does historical work for corporations. Next year is the 50th anniversary of the founding of Mastercard. As the founder of Mastercard, I was contacted to get my memory of the founding events in 1967.
In early Spring, I had misgivings about whether historians would be capable of recognizing my central role in founding both Mastercard and the cooperative nature of the new credit card that would make it the first global money. I wrote about it in this blog.
It turns out my misgivings were unfounded, not because of historians in general but because of my own actions in this case.
The corporate historians sent me the first chapter of their coming book on the history of Mastercard. They did a wonderful job of giving me due credit as the convener and founder of Mastercard. Thanks guys.
As I read the material I found that they were heavily influenced by my own actions.
- I have written extensively on my own role and made my writings public. That alone wouldn’t count for much.
- I helped several friends write similar articles that drew heavily on my written material.
- I personally interviewed some of the other founding participants and published those interviews as transcribed.
- I hired a journalist friend to interview one of the key founders. That created extra credibility.
- Lastly I told the founding story, early in the life of Mastercard to a friend who was writing a book on marketing innovation. It was published and fact checked by a major publisher.
All of this together gave credibility to the story as I told it.
Keep this in mind if you want something you have done to be rightly appreciated in the future.