Seinfeld on Startups: A Nickel at a Time

Seinfeld on Startups: A Nickel at a Time

Season 7 was one for the ages. The Pool Guy, The Soup Nazi, The Maestro, The Marble Rye, and The Estelle Costanza look-alike Doll all made their appearance during the 1995-1996 season.  In the sit-com world, that’s about essentially the ’72 Dolphins.  That slate alone can keep my blogged fueled until the last reader gives up on me – and maybe you already have, whoever you are.  I know you are out there, Google Analytics doesn’t  lie.

But I digress, so “The Bottle Deposit” had a ton of themes going on, so many that it was a two parter.

We’ve got Elaine buying some JFK golf clubs for Peterman, Sue Ellen Mishke makes an appearance, Tony the psychotic auto mechanic (Brad Garrett cameo), and George doing what George does best – nothing, while being celebrated for doing something, whatever it was.  Still with me?

The whole thing revolves around the idea that can’s bought in New York with a 5 cent deposit can be returned in Michigan for a 10 cent deposit.

Sounds like a piece of cake when your brain functions like Kramer and Newman’s do:  10 minus 5 equals 5 cents in my pocket!  As Corso would say, “Not so fast my friends”.  We’ve got fuel, storage, acquisition costs, and Jerry’s Saab to worry about too.

Kramer and Newman – team NK if you will – didn’t just fall off the turnip truck.  They see the fuel issue and innovate around that by hijacking a mail truck, brilliant.

I’ll give them 2 points for that one, but the reality (and this is where the today’s lesson gets inserted), is that you can’t plan for everything.  You can’t forecast your way to success.

You aren’t going to see all of the JFK antique golf clubs flying at your mail truck grill.  Even when they had a free truck and fuel to Saginaw, they managed to screw it up.  Now in your head, you might be saying  “Dan, surely I am a heck of a lot smarter than the dimwitted duo of Kramer and Newman.”  Sure you are, and I suppose you attended the Midvale School for the Gifted too, right?

Instead, I suggest you add some padding to your forecast by being more conservative with sales and always adding another 30% to your forecasted expenses.  You never know when you are going to take a 5 iron to the grill of your mail truck.

Dan Beenken is Director of the UNI Small Business Development Center

Share this post