Silly socks, dripping taps and fishing for compliments

three big ideas

OK, it’s been one of those weeks. No one thing has inspired me, but lots of little things have caught my attention – like fireflies in a garden at dusk. And I’ve learned three interesting lessons.

The colour of money

First was a really silly idea – that’s been fabulously successful. Let’s play a word-association game. Think socks and you think what? Matching. Pairs. Wrong. Little Miss Matched is a hugely popular site that sells socks that don’t match in odd numbers. So you don’t get two red-and-white socks. You get three socks – a pink one with yellow polka dots, a blue one with turquoise stripes, and a puce one with orange polka dots. Pick any two and wear. And if you lose one, who cares? You’ve still got two (that still don’t match). A crazy idea – that works. Lesson 1: don’t discount crazy ideas. They might work (and make you lots of money).

Water, water everywhere

I’ll never be able to look at a grande skinny sugar-free hazelnut extra-hot decaf latte in the same way again. Last week, it was revealed that Starbucks wastes 23m litres of water every day, by leaving a cold tap (translation for US readers: tap = faucet) running in each of its 10,000 stores worldwide. Why? To prevent germs forming in the taps, apparently. In one of those gloriously irrelevant comparisons, The Daily Telegraph in the UK reported that this was ‘enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool every 83 minutes’. Starbucks cited ‘health and safety’ as the reason. A spokeswoman for Starbucks said:
“We recognise the opportunity exists to reduce our total water usage. Starbucks’ challenge is to balance water conservation with the need for customer safety.”
No kidding. Lesson 2: discount crazy ideas (when they’re certifiably crazy). And when you’re caught out, don’t resort to corporate double-speak.

Because you’re worth it

Over at, I watched a brief talk by Laura Trice, a ‘counselor, life coach – and purveyor of wholesome junk food’. (Did I mention that she lives in California?) She says we don’t get enough thanks for one simple reason – we don’t ask for it. So we should ask for it. Intriguing. Lesson 3: intriguing ideas aren’t necessarily good. Just intriguing. Find out more: