The Story of The Potato Chip – Solving Problems Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult
By Brandon Allen - Jan 28 , 2011
Unless you are an accountant or an engineer, you probably hate digging into processes. Furthermore, the thought of creating a solution in business that solves problems in the marketplace may sound like a long, tedious task. In reality, solving problems doesn’t have to be difficult. You just have to keep your eyes open.
In the summer of 1853 was born a fine invention. The invention? The potato chip. It’s not so much that the potato chip was invented but how it was invented that proves my point about keeping your eyes open.
George Crum was a chef at an elegant restaurant in New York. A particular patron was complaining about the thickness of his french fries. George tried to remedy the situation a couple of times but was met by dissatisfaction both times. So, what did George do?
In typical New York fashion, George cut the potatoes so thin and crisp that you couldn’t get a fork into them. The customer absolutely loved them. In fact, many of the patrons loved them and began requesting them as well.
George took this one concept and turned it into his own restaurant business. Today, the potato chip industry is a six billion dollar a year business born out of frustration.
George was a chef and obviously had a passion for cooking. The story of his invention shows that we can create a whole industry by a chance encounter. We just have to keep our eyes open and look for ways to capitalize an idea. George wasn’t trying to save the world. He was trying to prove point to a customer and it turned out to be much bigger than he could have imagined.
Take a look around you and keep your eyes open for opportunities. Creating something new doesn’t have to involve sitting in a lab, mad scientist style, trying to concoct the perfect idea. Sometimes the best ideas for creating value and solving problems come from simply being alive and aware. Your next big idea is waiting just around the corner.