When You Should Give up on Your Ice-Cold, Crazy Ideas

It was at a dinner shortly after the wedding that the idea came up. One of Frederic’s younger sister had just married the most eligible bachelor in town. Chilled drinks were flowing. And so were the ideas.

As Frederic’s rich older brother William joked with friends, out tumbled one of those ideas: ice for everyone.

Why not harvest the plentiful New England ice, currently only affordable to the rich and famous and sell it to the masses in the steamy Caribbean? It was clearly a joke. The ice would obviously melt along the way.

Why not bring ice to the masses?

The more he thought about it, the more convinced he was that he could pull it off. Using what he had learned from his apprenticeships and calling on his contacts in the Caribbean, this idea could make him seriously rich.

So it was on August 1, 1805, he inscribed in his journal — a journal bought specifically for this grand new business venture — his determined outlook:

He who gives back at the first repulse and without striking the second blow despairs of success has never been, is not, and never will be a hero in war, love, or business.

Dan Waldschmidt·
5 min
14 cards

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