Why some start-up ideas will leave egg on your face

Copyright Tim Trad. Photo courtesy of Unsplash

You eat a delicious meal that tastes so good that you want to prepare it yourself. But how do you go about replicating the success of that dish you’ve tasted? How are you going to do it?

A few months back I tasted delicious Dahl made by a local curry restaurant. I told the owner, a young man who had come out of the food catering business for an airline in the UK, that I enjoyed his Dahl. “No problem,” he said. “I’ll give you the recipe.” Now, Dahl is not something that you can buy in supermarkets except in tins. But canned Dahl tastes awful and it’s best to stay far away from it. Continue reading “Why some start-up ideas will leave egg on your face”

Are you stuck because of what you know?

Waiter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a movie the other evening we went to a local restaurant where we were served by a waiter who had just started at the restaurant. His manner was uncaring, his attention to detail lacking and his insistence that we order more wine was rude. When the second glass of wine did come, it was a sweet red wine but he tried to con us into believing that there was something wrong with our taste buds.

A waiter who has been at this local restaurant for several years overheard our conversation, took away the two sweet red wine glasses and replaced them with a dry red. We thanked her.

This story isn’t about moaning about poor customer service. Rather it’s about a man who has worked as a butcher for a small butchery but at his age feels aggrieved that he wasn’t able to get shares in the small business. So he has branched out into learning the restaurant business, starting out as a waiter. Continue reading “Are you stuck because of what you know?”

Do you make these mistakes when generating business ideas?

Visualization of simulated airflow over an engine
Visualization of simulated airflow over an engine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was part of a new product development team at a food manufacturer in Randfontein, Gauteng, when one of our products faced the threat of international competition. There was no way that we could sit back and do nothing. For two years prior to the competitor’s entry into the local market we worked flat out.

The threat of a new entrant into a product category dominated by local food manufacturers gave us a clear purpose. We had to do everything that was commercially viable to prevent the international competitor from gobbling up our share of shelf space in the retail chains, wholesalers and general trade. Continue reading “Do you make these mistakes when generating business ideas?”