Ralph Waldo Emerson Challenge

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.

1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

Once upon a time in the world, there was a man who sold weed killer. Lets call him Jack. Jack sold millions of bottles of weed killer with one simple promise printed on every bottle “It kills weeds.” People loved the product because it did exactly what it was supposed to. But then a corn farmer came to him one day. Lets call him Bob. Bob loved Jack’s weed killer because it killed all the weeds that grew alongside his corn. But there was one small dilemma. Jack’s weed killer also killed all of Bob’s corn. Bob asked Jack “Can you make a weed killer that doesn’t kill my corn?” Jack had no idea how to create a weed killer that didn’t kill everything green it touched, but he was never one to turn down a challenge. Jack called his scientist friend. Lets call him Vincent. Jack asked Vincent if it would be possible to create a weed killer that didn’t kill corn. Vincent told him it would be impossible. “The chemicals kill everything Jack,” Vincent said. Jack was very disappointed. He was looking forward to selling billions of bottles of weed killer to a new market with another promise “It kills weeds, but not your corn!” Jack would have to come to terms with only selling millions of bottles of weed killer.

Years later Jack gets a phone call. It was Vincent. “I have found something you might be interested in Jack.” Vincent said. “Did you find a way to make weed killer that doesn’t kill corn?” Jack asked. “Even better.” Vincent replied. Vincent had found a way to modify corn seed so that they were resistant to Jack’s weed killer. “There are a few minor problems with the modified corn seed though.” Vincent told Jack, “This new seed doesn’t have much nutritional value, and the corn plants that grow from this seed can’t produce fertile seeds for a new crop.” Jack didn’t seem very disappointed by the downsides. In fact he was ecstatic.  “Vincent, I want you to be my new business partner.” Jack said.

Jack & Vincent lived happily ever after selling nutritionally deficient seed, and weed killer to the world. Click here to see their website.

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