"If you think you can
or you think you can't,
you're right."

Henry Ford


"None of us is as good as
all of us."

Ray Krok
Founder of McDonald's


"It is the dull man
who is always sure.
The sure man
who is always dull."

H.L Menchen


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Ice Water

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 drought.

For 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 their store.

Then 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 and sundries.

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.



Every struggling enterprise has an “Ice Water” solution out there, waiting to be discovered.

The 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’ market success.

A 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.

Struggle 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.

What is your enterprise’s “Ice water?”