When Dan Price, founder and CEO of Gravity Payments, went viral for deciding to institute a $70,000 minimum wage at his company last April, he wasn't ready for the surge of media coverage that came with it.
The attention brought in more business, but Price's subsequent behavior was placed under a microscope. In July, it was reported that Price's brother, Lucas Price, sued him, demanding he buy him out of his minority stake in Gravity. Price was blamed when top employees left the company. Although he drew praise for the new minimum wage, that only drew more attention to his paycheck before the buzzworthy moment, which had been above $1 million. (In his announcement, he promised to take down his pay to the minimum of $70,000.)
After his crash course in media relations, Price now accepts that publicity comes with risk.
"If you're going to go out there and expose yourself in the media, there's going to be all kinds of angles people are going to take and you can't take yourself too seriously," he told CNBC.
"Some people are going to call you a hero — they're wrong. Some people are going to call you a villain or an idiot — they're also wrong," said Price.