Shake It Up

Just The Geeks, Maam

If a guy wearing a '50s FBI suit with flood pants, white socks and a badge shows up at your office saying he's Special Agent Jones, don't panic. He's from The Geek Squad, and he's there to fix your computer.

A "24-hour on-site rapid-response computer task force" in Minneapolis, The Geek Squad is the brainchild of 28-year-old Robert C. Stephens. No dork he, Stephens has transformed $200 and some wacky marketing moves into a $500,000-a-year computer support business in less than three years. How did he do it? "Creativity in the absence of capital," says Stephens.

In this case, creativity translated into much more than the offbeat dress of the 14 "special agents" who work for The Geek Squad: They drive Geekmobiles that give new meaning to the phrase "company car." Among the fleet are two black ice cream trucks and a 1960 Ford Falcon police car complete with a nonworking siren, all emblazoned with The Geek Squad logo.

So what does Stephens have up his sleeve for The Geek Squad's future? Says the entrepreneur, "I want to become the rapid oil change of the computer support industry." Did somebody say drive-thru window?

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This article was originally published in the May 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Shake It Up.

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