First Published on the 26th of October, 2020 by Patrick Carpen.Last updated: October 26, 2020 at 16:50 pm
I was walking pass the gas station in Campo Verde, Mato Grosso, Brazil when I saw people lined up to purchase ice cream from a pink and blue ice cream van beautifully labeled “Magic Bubble Waffle.”
I was taken by surprise since there were many ice cream shops in the city of Campo Verde, but they didn’t have long lines of people waiting to buy. What was so special about this ice cream van? I inquired and I was told that this ice cream van sold a very special ice cream…that it was super delicious.
The van travels from city to city selling its super special ice cream. And by the looks of things, it always has a long line until it’s time to roll off to the next city. It would be some time before it returns.
The van starts serving customers from 4 pm to 10 pm, and during that time, a long line builds up to buy. It seems everyone is eager to get their fair share of this super special ice cream before the big pink van rolls off to another city. And they do!
Curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to see what was so special about this ice cream cone, so I joined the line. To sum it up, it was sort of like some ice cream placed in a special kind of sweet bread and topped with lots of sweets and other stuff.
Personally, it was too sweet and heavy for my taste. By the time I had finished the ice cream and toppings, I wasn’t able to stomach the bread. But then again, I’m not a big eater. I looked around and saw everyone gobbling down the whole thing, including kids as young as 13.
It then dawned upon me that Brazilians really loved this pink ice cream van. The price was 20 reais. Pretty expensive. To put things into perspective, the average day pay in Brazil is 50 reais. When I thought about all the ice cream shops in the city perhaps getting a walk in every hour or so, more or less, compared to this one with a constant line, a timeless truth then dawned upon me: build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.
Did you know that successful product creators become billionaires overnight? Why? Because they create a product that provides value or solve a problem. But did you know that there are thousands of products in the world waiting to be created. And do you know that there are thousands more that can be improved significantly? Yes, and the person who does this also makes a lot of money. The next time you run into a problem in your home, village or city, instead of getting mad about it, ask yourself, how can I solve this problem? And how can I make money doing so?
The next time you use a product, ask yourself: how can I improve this product? The next time you read a book, ask yourself, how can this book be improved? Can I write a book that will fill the gaps that this one leaves? Can I write a book that will eventually replace this? Or can I write one that will supplement it to make a more complete package?
Do you remember the can opener from ten years ago? It’s not the same that people use today! No, someone came up with an innovative idea. They made it better. And that’s how the world “evolves.” And that’s how humans get rewarded for assisting forward evolution of our world.
Look around you: what can you do to make the world a better place? What product can you make better? What problem can you solve? What service can you provide. Remember the timeless truth: build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.