Lessons Learned from my Intern

One of my interns from 8 years ago, C.J. Dirago, sent me an email earlier this week.

He quoted something I told him nearly a decade ago...

“If you see people waiting in a long line to buy something, get to the front of the line and figure out what it is that’s causing the line.”

In economic terms, anytime you notice overwhelming customer demand... figure out who is supplying what customers are demanding. There is a lot to be gained by studying demand.

Well, on a recent trip to New York City, C.J. came across a line that wrapped around the block.

Curious, he decided to walk to the front of the line to see what could possibly cause hundreds of people in NYC to wait outdoors, in the cold, to buy something.

Guess what he found...

Uncooked Cookie Dough.

Yup, there’s now a dessert store in Greenwich Village that sells cookie dough that has not yet been baked. It is intended to be eaten “raw.”

The store is called Cookie Do Confections. It’s located at 550 LaGuardia Place in NYC.

My favorite photo is this one...

It reads:

“The line starts ACROSS THE STREET at the Southwest Corner of Laguardia Place & W. 3rd Street. You may not enter without a ticket. Please be courtious (sic) to our neighbors and keep your voices down.”

(The emphasis is mine).

I LOVE this sign... what business wouldn’t want a line of customers that starts across the street!

There are so many customers in line that they’re causing a noise pollution problem for neighboring businesses.

Will this be the start of a trend like smoothie, frozen yogurt, or cupcake stores popping up across the world? Or will it be a fad?

Honestly, I don’t know.

But, what I am doing now is PAYING ATTENTION to it.

This is the essential skill of noticing shifts and trends in market demand.

The more you study market demand in any and all markets, the more skilled you will become in noticing shifts in customer demand in your own market.

Demand is demand.

While I have many different roles in my life and career, the one role that has never changed is that I see myself as a “student of market demand.”

Always. Study. Demand.

End of story.


P.S. Thanks to C.J. for sending me his story and the photos above. Sometimes you have to see it to believe it.

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