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Jell-O celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1997. I was fascinated to read the story of the man who invented it. In 1897, a man by the name of Pearle Wait wore several hats. He was a construction worker. He dabbled in patent medicines and went door to door selling homemade remedies. In the midst of his tinkering, he came upon the idea of mixing fruit flavoring with granulated gelatin. His wife named it "Jell-O" and Wait thought it was just another product to try to peddle. Unfortunately, sales didn’t go as fast as he thought they should, so just a few months after developing this product, he sold all the rights to a man named Orator Woodward for $450.

Woodward knew the bargain that he got. Understanding the value of marketing and patience, within just 8 brief years, he turned that...

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