In 1833 Frederic Tudor, a Boston merchant, shipped New England ice to hot, humid Calcutta in India. Nearly half of the cargo arrived intact after a voyage of several months. The story of Tudor is a lesson in how to overcome failure and get a business off the ground.
It was on a trip to Havana with his brother John Henry in 1801 that Frederic got the idea of sending ice to the tropics. Where others saw a ludicrous fantasy, he saw a lucrative market. And he persisted through a decade of adversity. Newspapers and family friends mocked him. Tudor spent time in jail for failure to pay his debts. He fell into a depression. But he died a millionaire.
His problems on the way to getting rich were plentiful. Once Tudor got the ice to hot places, consumers did not know how to preserve or even use the novel product. He turned to what social media today would call influencers and gave away free ice to local bartenders in the Caribbean islands. After creating demand and when faced with competitors, he would sell below cost, waiting for other traders to literally melt down.
But before he could even think about reaching consumers, Continue reading