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Dave Thomas 1932-2002
Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, passed away today. Appearing in hundreds of commercials, he gave his hamburger chain a friendly, down-home feel. “Mr. Thomas came to stand for the products he peddled because he was perceived as standing behind them, as if a curious customer could peek inside the kitchen at a Wendy’s restaurant and perhaps find Mr. Thomas keeping a watchful eye on the cook at the grill,” wrote Stuart Elliot in the New York Times. He taught us that nobody, given the choice, prefers to buy from a faceless megacorporation.

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I'm Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Overflow. More about me.