Thursday, January 25, 2007

Small Ideas = Big Business, Part 2

(To read part 1 of this series, click here!)

In 1882, John Patterson’s retail store was losing money. Unfortunately he couldn’t handle all the transactions himself. There was no way to stop money from leaking. He was headed for bankruptcy.

Then he heard about a strange device being used in Dayton Ohio. It actually enforced the correct recording of daily sales! After incorporating one of these crude machines into his order process, his store began to show a profit. Patterson then wondered, “If this machine is good for a little store in Ohio, wouldn’t it be equally good for stores everywhere?”

Damn right it would. Ever heard of the “cash register” before?

1. Ask yourself, “What if everybody had my product?”
2. You can’t control every part of your business
3. Ohio is the birthplace of, like, everything.

Nice Mustache
Gail was 54 years old when he received his patent for condensed milk. However, the way he came to invent the product was more out of frustration than creativity.

In 1851 he was heading back home from a trip to London. Several of the train’s compartments stored cows in the back to provide fresh milk for the many infants on board. However, the rough terrain made many cows sick. The result: they gave no milk.

Naturally, the babies on board started crying. A lot. Borden because so upset that he walked straight up to the captain and declared, “I promise you this. Someday I will develop a milk that can be carried anywhere in the world!”

Over 150 years later, Borden’s produces billions of food packages a year to over 200 countries worldwide.

1. Pissed off people are good at changing things.
2. Ask what other medium your product could be delivered in.
3. Cows are people too.

Creativity is cool, huh?

Post your own "Creativity Trio" here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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