Turning Your Life Around to Win in Business

Posted in Big Thought, People, Pulpit by Harsha on May 13, 2008

This is truly an inspirational story not because of the ultimate success in business but because the protagonist Bob Williamson was a former druggie and homeless man. He was like one of those guys you see on busy intersections today, juggling tennis balls or selling the local newspaper.

Bob is a man after my own heart because he is in the business of providing software to school cafeterias, among other such large institutions. I’m deeply interested in this space because if you’ve been to a school lunch room or University cafeteria, you’ll be amazed at the sheer amount of food. While I don’t have any hard facts on hand, I am sure that almost 75-80% of the food goes wasted. When looked at nationally, there are over 5000 universities in the US and far more number of schools. The waste is endless.

I’ve always believed that solutions to these socio-economic problems must be capitalistic in nature. Of course, a non-profit model also works, but we all know the clear difference between the two. People sit up and listen when there is money to be made in solving a problem. Also, it would be in a food service company’s best interest to better estimate food demand and reduce waste in order to boost profits. While I am sure the Sodexho’s of the world are already doing that, I will also tell you that they’re not doing a good job. And therein lies the opportunity.

A recent show about freeganism got me thinking about developing a for-profit business plan that will move wasted food out of the hands of grocery chains, bakeries and cafeterias and into the hands of the homeless and needy and quite simply, people who want to buy food at cheaper prices. I am also happy to discuss if you want to sound off on your own ideas about how a money-making idea can make it easier to take good wasted food and move it into the hands of hungry people.


Inc. Magazine

Profile on corporate website