The Oreo Cookie, MBAs, and Me

Admittedly my affection for “off the rack” cookies is way beyond reason or the acceptable norm.  I know, I know, I know….  I get it.  There are all kinds of arguments that can stem from that statement.  They are made using mass produced, low quality ingredients, hydrogenated oils, etc. etc.  But lets move beyond that because it’s my blog and I choose the topics.  In my opinion Chips Ahoy is the golden standard.  I’m talking about the original, crunchy, regular allotment of chips; Chips Ahoy cookie.  There are now 31 varieties of Chips Ahoy if you include the Jello Chips Ahoy Pudding.  All of that so called product “improvement” non-sense was for naught as they peaked with the release of the original.  The Oreo is a different story.  Nabisco waited 63 years for what I would consider one of the biggest “a ha” moments in culinary history since the invention of the cupcake (1796).

Here’s the scene I picture; the workhorse of the Nabisco cookie kingdom is now 63 years old and sales are becoming a little stale (pun intended).  They need to develop some type of revolutionary development.  Then, as if a result of divine intervention, one high level executive pipes in

“Eureka!!!  I’ve got it!!!! LET’S DOUBLE THE STUFF!!!”

The response to which must have been a gasp throughout the room followed by a thundering round of applause.  I am assuming this person had an MBA if not a doctorate in Amazing Ideas.  I’m making this assumption not just because he was an executive at Nabisco, but because… well… he had one of the greatest ideas known to modern man.  From that moment on, Double Stuff Oreos have been super-sizing the american public.

Again... Logic.
Again… Logic.

So what’s the take away from this amazing statement of the obvious?  What it boils down to is a basic key to success.  Find out what you do well, and do more of it.  This simplified concept is spelled out at length in thousands of leadership books, seminars and classes. “Strength Based Leadership”, “Maximizing Talent” it’s all the same Double Stuff Principle. (Double Stuff Principle, is a JackFacts original as far as I know.)

Something funny happens when you apply the Double Stuff Principle.  Usually, when you do something that falls into one of your “strength” categories, it’s rather enjoyable.  Which naturally makes you want to do more “Stuff”.  I don’t need to be the brilliant Nabisco MBA to suggest that by doing things more, one tends to become better at said task or activity. In his book “Outliers”, the impressively quaffed Malcolm Gladwell malcolm-gladwell will tell you that if you spend 10,000 hours of practice in a specific field, you will achieve mastery. Along the same lines, in his song “10,000 Hours” rap artist Macklemore (with a nice “do” of his own) Mackwill tell you, “The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint, the greats were great because they paint a lot”.  Gladwell goes on in his point to show that natural talent is not important.  I’m not disputing his findings.  I do however subscribe to the line of thinking that if you pursue a natural strength, your 10,000 hour journey will be easier and more enjoyable. (And yes, one could argue there is nothing “natural” about the actual double stuff filling in the cookie.  I do see that flaw in my analogy.)

So at some point this week, ask yourself “what’s my Stuff?”  Are you using your Stuff?  How can I use it more.  If you are interested in learning more about your personal Stuff try Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath it’s $16 on Amazon. Included is an on-line assessment in the form of “either/or” questions.  There are no right or wrong answers.  When you complete the assessment you are given a complete report of your top 5 Talent Themes (Strengths) and how to use them in your life.  It’s pretty cool.

And a special note of warning that can be learned from following the Double Stuff story a little farther; they got a little cocky and tried to go back to the well one too many times.  Following a mantra from the Eighties, everything bigger was better, Big Stuff Oreos were introduced in 1987 .

Big Stuff Oreo

These monuments to gluttony were ten times the size of regular Oreos.  Again, I’m not an MBA, the smartest guy in the room, or overly health conscious; but ….. yuck!  Nabisco, I’m available for taste test and focus groups if you like my Stuff.

Closing note – if you are ever going to use the word Yukon-CorneliusEureka you better either be Yukon Cornelius or have an idea equal to or great than double stuff.  In other words; don’t do it.


One thought on “The Oreo Cookie, MBAs, and Me

  1. Nicely written, Jack! However, while I enjoyed reading the article, I am firmly in the camp that the double stuff was in fact too much for my tastebuds. However sales charts would show that I am in the minority.


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