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Now That's Hot!

We’re smack dab in the middle of winter, and what’s a better subject than talking about the hottest day in the history of the world?

Back in 1991 Will Herron, an entrepreneur and restaurant owner decided he needed to do something special to get more people into his restaurant. His restaurant was in a little town called Baker California. Yes, a very small town but the restaurant was on the heavily traveled highway that sits between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Mr. Herron’s idea was to build something grand to get people to stop.

Mr. Herron decided he was going to commemorate the world’s hottest recorded temperature, which happened on July 10th, 1913, at nearby Death Valley. The temperature was a cool 134 degrees Fahrenheit. He chose to build a 134-foot giant tower that would show all the people the current temperature as they drove by.

He built something grand and got people to stop but he probably never should have done it. Mr. Herron neglected to think deeply enough about his ROI (Return on Investment).

Opportunities are all around us, but that doesn’t mean we should go after every shiny thing we see. It’s important to develop methods to evaluate whether something is worth doing. It’s also important to apply these methods to as many opportunities as you can. Some things to think about:

  • Complex opportunities take time to understand the risks and rewards

  • Bigger isn’t always better

  • Build your case then run it by a trusted colleague

The giant thermometer was sold many times over but is now in the hands of the Herron family once again. Why they bought it back, I’ll never know.


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