FASTer - Issue #123

🚀 New Trend Alert: "Dirty Soda" Chains Revolutionizing the Beverage Industry 🚀

Picture this: a refreshing concoction of Diet Coke with coconut half & half and lime juice. Sounds like a wild combination, right? Well, that's a real and wildly popular drink in the "Dirty Soda" world.

What? I had no idea about this till about ten days ago, as an industry. What this tells us, we do not need to invent ground breaking new products to launch some thing new. This process/product/business relies on pre existing items with a re-composition and a market that exists who will pay for the experience.

These drive-thru soda chains are experiencing unprecedented growth, attracting beverage enthusiasts from all walks of life. With Swig leading the charge, boasting an impressive 50 locations and over 250+ sold, this trend is clearly here to stay. Notably, the Larry H Miller Foundation has invested in Swig, further solidifying its potential.

Another key player, FiiZ, is aggressively expanding with 57 locations, primarily through franchise ventures.

But wait, there's more! Twisted Sugar has embraced the trend with 46 sites, while Sodalicous and Quench It are also making their mark with 25 and 9 sites, respectively.

Alongside their delectable soda offerings, most of them provide small bites like cookies, pretzels, and popcorn, keeping their operations efficient and customer-centric.

So, what's the secret to their success? It's simple: selling sodas with exciting add-ons . Customers are head over heels for the "dirty" aspect of "dirty sodas," whether it's the addition of coffee creamers or fruit purées.

As entrepreneurs with a keen eye for opportunity, this trend presents an enticing business foundation. Embrace the creativity and innovation of the "Dirty Soda" world, and you might just find yourself at the forefront of a transformative industry.


In this edition, we're diving deep into the realm of lesser-known opportunities that have the potential to yield profitable outcomes. Our theme for this week revolves around uncovering the evident yet overlooked aspects that surround us every day. From Dirty Sodas to software and everything in between, we're debunking the myth that you need to come up with groundbreaking ideas to enhance your outcomes over time.

Here's the truth: the key to transforming your entrepreneurial journey lies in exploring the seemingly mundane, the ordinary, and the everyday elements that are right in front of us. They exist in our daily walks, our conversations, our surroundings, and even our friendly chats and phone calls. The real magic happens when we take a step back and look at these aspects from a fresh perspective.

Instead of chasing elusive, earth-shattering concepts, let's focus on a more practical approach. Let's take those unremarkable yet ever-present elements and work backwards to make them simple, efficient, useful, optimized, or scaled. By doing so, we unlock a world of possibilities that can reshape our outcomes significantly.

Think about it. Many success stories were born out of refining existing ideas or making mundane processes better. The key is to be observant, curious, and willing to invest time and effort into refining the ordinary. It's not about reinventing the wheel; it's about making it spin smoother and faster.

By mastering this skill, you gain the power to change your outcomes in unimaginable ways. The path to success lies not only in big, revolutionary leaps but also in incremental and strategic improvements. It's about recognizing the potential in the overlooked and crafting it into something remarkable.

So, embrace the art of seeking hidden opportunities in your everyday life and business endeavors. Challenge yourself to find the potential in the ordinary, and then transform it into something extraordinary. With persistence, creativity, and an eye for optimization, you can pave the way to a future filled with prosperity.

Remember, it's not always about doing something groundbreaking; it's about embracing the present and turning it into a promising future. Take the first step today and harness the potential within you to shape your own destiny.

My favorite example of some thing that existed that some one made better, has to be the humble plastic bag being re used. Ziploc: An essential in every kitchen, Ziploc bags were founded by Robert W. Vergobbi in 1968. Recognizing the need for a resealable, airtight storage solution, Ziploc became a household name, optimizing food preservation and convenience. Their simple yet effective design revolutionized food storage and brought convenience to countless homes worldwide.

Improving some one else's business

The best opportunities lie in adding efficiency, reach, scale, or simplicity to other peoples businesses. This is my favorite such story. Imagine a book software for boats…read on.

Boring Stuff That Scales

Old businesses. The business of exercise is neither new nor unique, but innovating some thing old is always new ground to make money.

Ellen Latham faced a significant career setback when, at 40, she was unexpectedly fired from her dream job as an exercise physiologist at a luxurious spa in Miami.

The news devastated her.

However, Ellen's spirit remained unyielding.

Fast forward fourteen years later, at the age of 54, she made an inspiring comeback by founding Orangetheory Fitness, a science-based fitness franchise that now boasts an impressive 1 million+ members, surpassing $1 billion in sales, and spreading across 1,200 studios globally.

Here are some key details about her inspiring journey:

  1. Early Career and Setback: Ellen Latham began her career as an exercise physiologist, and she was living her dream job working at a high-end spa in Miami. However, at the age of 40, she faced a major setback when she was suddenly fired from this position. The news was devastating, and it could have been easy to give up at that point, but Ellen chose to view this setback as an opportunity for growth.

  2. The Birth of Orangetheory Fitness: Instead of wallowing in disappointment, Ellen used her passion for fitness and her knowledge in exercise physiology to create something new. In 2010, at the age of 54, she founded Orangetheory Fitness, a science-based fitness franchise that offers a unique workout experience combining cardiovascular, strength training, and interval exercises.

  3. The Science Behind Orangetheory: Ellen's concept for Orangetheory Fitness was based on the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). The workouts are designed to elevate heart rates into the "Orange Zone" for a sustained period, leading to an "afterburn" effect, where the body continues to burn calories even after the workout is over. This science-backed approach sets Orangetheory Fitness apart from other fitness programs.

  4. Rapid Growth and Success: Orangetheory Fitness quickly gained popularity and attracted a loyal following. The franchise model allowed for rapid expansion, and the brand started spreading across the United States and later internationally. The concept resonated with fitness enthusiasts seeking effective and engaging workouts.

  5. Expansion and Impact: Today, Orangetheory Fitness has grown into a global fitness phenomenon with over 1,200 studios across various countries. The franchise boasts an impressive 1 million+ members and has achieved annual sales exceeding $1 billion.

  6. Advocacy for Women in Business: Throughout her journey, Ellen has been an advocate for women in business and entrepreneurship. She emphasizes the value of diverse thinking and encourages women to embrace their talents and potential to make a significant impact in the business world.

Research shows that among the top 0.1% of startups based on growth in their first five years, the founders started their companies, on average, when they were 45 years old.

 It's never too late to turn your dream idea, into your dream business.

What You Should Be Reading

Times of apparent stability are the riskiest; the best opportunities often occur when everyone else is going cuckoo.

From the book The Uncertainty Solution: How to Invest with Confidence in the Face of the Unknown

The Uncertainty Solution is an exceptional book that demystifies the world of investments with its comprehensive and insightful guidance. This book offers a treasure trove of knowledge, empowering both beginners and seasoned investors to navigate the complex realm of finance with confidence.

I keep telling people in chaotic markets that “with chaos, comes opportunity” for the first time, this book puts that into perspective. A must read for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Monetize your time

Let's face it; some of us might not be as well-versed in the world of technology, but we can't ignore the numerous opportunities that arise in this rapidly expanding domain. So, what's our option? We need to find a way to upskill ourselves, gain real-world exposure, and seize the potential of the tech industry.

There are a few paths we can take: enrolling in university programs, taking traditional courses, or opting for the convenience of online learning. The latter offers a fantastic opportunity to monetize our future outcomes, allowing us to learn at our own pace and from the comfort of our homes.

In my opinion, MIT's Understanding Technology course stands out as the perfect primer for tech newcomers. It's undoubtedly one of the best courses out there, providing a comprehensive introduction to technology without assuming that we are already computer experts.

This is your shot. Take it.

One Last Thing

Price clubs. As old as time but one player continues to win. May be there is a secret to unlock here. Costco

To get through Costco's doors, you need a membership. And there's no easy way around it, especially lately.

As of June 2023, Costco says it will have employees stationed at self-checkout lines to check member identification cards so that only those that pay to get in can get in on the savings.

Costco membership fees are one of the main ways the warehouse is able to offer low prices compared to other retailers. Those low prices can be found on everything from a 72-pound block of cheese to a casket to a $1.50 hotdog.

And it works. In a time of online shopping supremacy and dying retail stores, Costco has consumers hooked. So what other ways do they get us coming back? And why are customers so obsessed?

If you want to read the detailed break down, go here.

Bonus! Thought of the week

Sonic Branding. If yo do not know what it is, you are missing out. To get you started, here is the man who decides what brands sound like.

Sonic branding, also known as audio branding, is the expression of your brand through sound.

It most commonly appears through a 'jingle' – a short, instantly recognisable piece of music or sound that customers link to your brand. Popular global examples of this are McDonald's ("I'm Lovin' It"), Apple (the startup sound their computers make), Amazon (the voice of Alexa, the interactive assistant), and Microsoft (the Windows startup sound). You might think of these as 'audio logos'.

But it has a much wider scope. Just like a brand's visual assets consist of their logo, visual style, typeface, animations, product, product packaging and more, their sonic branding exists through lots of different channels.

It's all about creating a distinct audio identity that's deeply intertwined with your brand, and the messages and feelings it promotes in the minds of your customers.

The sounds involved in audio branding are designed to reach your customers' ears wherever they hang out. These touch points could consist of:

  • Public spaces (like train stations)

  • Retail stores and shopping malls

  • TV advertising

  • Social media ads / content sponsorships

  • Website banners

  • Podcast sponsorship

  • In-app advertising like Spotify

Can you use this as you build your own brand? I wanted to leave you with this thought as you think about your own outcomes, why not make others part of it?