Simple Ideas… Spawn Great Innovation

Fun historical fact from 1892 today. Lord Stanley Preston had a trophy commissioned for the top ranking amateur hockey club in Canada. In his own words,  “I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup which should be held from year to year by the champion hockey team in the Dominion of Canada. There does not appear to be any such outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the general interest which matches now elicit, and the importance of having the game played fairly and under rules generally recognized, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held from year to year by the winning team.” The original cup cost what would be about $50 in today’s market.

Why do I mention this relatively Canadian and forgotten historical fact today? It’s the idea that a simple idea – the creation of a cup to award to the top hockey team in Canada – grew into the NHL and has become one of the most recognizable awards in all of sports. An idea that was local in origin and specific to one country – has now become something players and teams from all over the world covet and want to win. A simple idea spawned great innovation.

The parallel between marketing your product, idea, services on a local level – creating your own cup, if you will – can lead to amazing things. To use the words of Lord Stanley, the general interest which your marketing can elicit can and will lead to success. Can you imagine that one would feel to see this simple cup created in 1892 now being the beautiful trophy that the champions of the NHL hoist every year? Your marketing and ideas are the Stanley Cup – at first something that only a few compete for – but as you expand, get more creative…. your market opens up and with luck and hard work – your business becomes something everyone wants to compete for.

This rather overlooked historical fact is something we can all use for motivation. Create your own cup for $50, work the idea and watch it grow into your own personal Stanley Cup!!!


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