As part of the #75hardchallenge each day I read at least 10 pages of a book. The book I have finally found time to read is "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. Today I came across this story from the chapter entitled Imagination and I want to share it, highlighting the value of an idea.
The Enchanted Kettle
Back in 1888, an old country doctor drove to town, hitched his horse, quietly slipped into a drug store by the back door, and began bargaining with the young drug clerk.
His mission was destined to yield great wealth to many people. It was destined to bring to the South the most far-flung benefit since the Civil War. For more than an hour, behind the prescription counter, the old doctor and the clerk talked in low tones.
Then the doctor left. He went out to the buggy and brought back a large, old-fashioned kettle, and a big wooden paddle (used for stirring the contents of the kettle), and deposited them in the back of the store.
The clerk inspected the kettle, reached into his inside pocket, took out a roll of bills, and handed it over to the doctor, the clerk's entire savings!
The doctor handed over a small slip of paper on which was written a secret formula. The words on that small slip of paper were worth a King's ransom! But not to the doctor! Those magic words were needed to start the kettle to boiling, but neither the doctor nor the young clerk knew what fabulous fortunes were destined to flow from that kettle.
The old doctor was glad to sell the outfit for a *few hundred dollars. The money would pay off his debts, and give him freedom of mind. The clerk was taking a big chance by staking his entire life's savings on a mere scrap of paper and an old kettle! He never dreamed his investment would start a kettle overflowing with gold that would surpass the miraculous performance of Aladdin's lamp.
What the clerk really purchased was an idea!
The old kettle and the wooden paddle, and the secret message on a slip of paper were incidental. The strange performance of that kettle began to take place after the new owner mixed with the secret instructions an ingredient of which the doctor knew nothing.
This is not a story from Arabian Nights. Here you have a story of facts, stranger than fiction, facts which began in the form of an idea.
Let us take a look at the vast fortunes of gold this idea has produced. It has paid, and still pays huge fortunes to men and women all over the world, who distribute the contents of the kettle to millions of people.
The Old Kettle is now one of the world's largest consumers of sugar, thus providing jobs of a permanent nature to thousands of men and women engaged in growing sugar cane, and in refining and marketing sugar.
The Old Kettle consumes, annually, millions of glass and plastic bottles, providing jobs to huge numbers of glass workers.
The Old Kettle gives employment to an army of clerks, copywriters, and advertising experts throughout the nation. It has brought fame and fortune to scores of artists who have created magnificent pictures describing the product.
"Whoever you are, wherever you may live, whatever occupation you may be engaged in, just remember in the future, every time you see the words "Coca-Cola," that its vast empire of wealth and influence grew out of a single idea, and that the mysterious ingredient the drug clerk- Asa Candler mixed with the secret formula was ... imagination!
Sources: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Wikipedia ...
Asa Griggs Candler Sr. (December 30, 1851 – March 12, 1929) was an American business tycoon and politician who in 1888 purchased the Coca-Cola recipe for *$238.98 from chemist John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia. Candler founded The Coca-Cola Company in 1892 and developed it as a major company.