In 1931, Ted and Dorothy Hustead bought a
drugstore in Wall, South Dakota, a prairie
town nestled on the edge of the Badlands.
Most of the 326 inhabitants were farmers who'd
been wiped out either by the Depression or
five years the Husteads hung on by a thread.
In summers, there was an endless stream of
cars filled with families heading west, but
precious few turned off the highway to patronize
one day Dorothy had an idea. What if they
were to offer travelers free Ice water to
quench their thirsts in the sweltering heat?
She decided to test her idea, so she made
some “Free Ice Water” signs and
sent Ted out to the highway to put them up.
By the time he got back to the store, the
place was jammed with people, drinking free
ice water and also buying ice cream cones
Today Wall Drug is a multimillion dollar complex
of clothing and gift shops, restaurants, and
family amusements. And it all started with
a simple idea. Ice water.
struggling enterprise has an “Ice Water”
solution out there, waiting to be discovered.
people who started Rollerblades struggled
for years until one night they put Rollerblades
on the Minnesota Vikings cheerleaders during
a Monday Night Football game. In an on camera
interview, Mike Ditka called it “The
Rollerdome." This exposure to millions
of viewers was the spark that ignited Rollerblades’
young entrepreneur and his small staff of
software writers were struggling in obscurity
until one night at a cocktail party, his mother
ran into a friend who had just been given
the responsibility of finding an operating
system for the IBM PC. She suggested he talk
to her son Bill.
is the norm for most enterprises. Sometimes
the magic bullet that will bring a breakthrough
is a rocket science idea. But more often than
not, it’s a simple idea.
is your enterprise’s “Ice water?”