What is your chocolate chip cookie for 2019? In 1933, right in the heart of history’s worst economic and social crisis- known as the Great Depression, Ruth Wakefield, invented the chocolate chip cookie. Wakefield ran the Toll House Inn in Whitman Massachusetts and needed to serve up a recipe to satisfy her clients. Nestle was so impressed with her innovation, they made her a deal.
There are many major lessons from Wakefield and Nestle’s partnership success, but here are three I would like you to consider. If you are an entrepreneur hoping to launch, expand or simply in the planning stages in 2019, take note:
Firstly, not only was the chocolate chip cookie invented in history’s worst global financial crisis, but there were many other inventions during this and other tragic economic periods. Here are just a few innovations to come out of the Great Depression- The first Car Radio, the First Supermarket and even the modern Tampon- now imagine a world without any of these. Needs often become more obvious during bleak periods, so keep your head up and focus on serving people’s needs and the money will come.
Secondly, you may think you and your ideas are small, but precisely because you are small, you are free of the red tape and beuracracy. This large corporate political baggage often limits organizations from innovating. Celebrate where you are and your current size because it may just be exactly what you need to position you to come up with the ideas major companies like Nestle need- and do not be shy to approach and collaborate with big players.
Lastly, Ruth Wakefield only came up with the chocolate chip because she was missing key ingredients from her old recipe which was a butter drop cookie- so, she substituted ingredients and made due with what she had. Simply put, if she had everything she needed, she would have never invented what has become one of the world’s favorite cookies- certainly in my top 3. Looks around you and work with what you have.
We are in a very challenging economic space, but a space where the timing for starting a project or innovating to tackle a pressing social need is ripe. You may think these examples are far fetched, but I have witnessed in my own life how many of my small business clients are beginning to boom on the back needs arising out of this down economy.
The entrants for Total Startupper campaign are being judged, so thanks so much for everyone who entered. This selection phase is super exciting because the finalist will be named on the 25th of January. Make sure you go back to the previous post to see links for more exciting content (blogs, podcast and links to the Startupper Campaign) to ensure you stay up to date with insights to help you and your project flourish. Keep dreaming and creating. Feel free to contact me directly for more firstname.lastname@example.org