Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Let them eat (cup)cake

New opportunity comes when you challenge the conventions of the category. There's no better proof of this than Butch Bakery.

Everyone knows what cupcakes are, right? They're light, pink, girly and magical. And they're for kids. Then David Arrick, a former Wall Street real estate lawyer and founder of Butch Bakery, asked the simple question, "why?"

Why can't cupcakes have a masculine sensibility? Why can't they have names that read more like a drink menu: B-52, Side Car, Old-Fashioned? And why can't they have bold flavors like Rum & Coke, Kahlua soaked cake with Bailey's Bavarian Cream filling, and whiskey with orange? The answer of course is, they can.

Mr. Arrick created a successful business by questioning something so fundamental to the category that no one had ever questioned it before.

So if you want to find new opportunities in your industry, ask yourself what everyone knows to be true about it. Then ask yourself what a business might look like if it broke a few of those rules. It might just look like success.

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