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Weird Business Lessons: What Waffles Can Teach Us About Business

Breakfast (including tacos) is my favorite meal of the day. So I decided to make my own protein waffles for breakfast so I bought a waffle maker to get the party started.

I googled a few different protein waffle recipes and started with a simple combination:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 2 T of almond milk
  • 1 scoop of protein
  • 5 minutes in waffle maker

Lesson learned: Doh. Forgot to use cooking spray and I didn’t cook it long enough.

Then I altered the recipe, added cooking spray and a touch of baking powder, and cooked it longer — this time for 6:30 minutes

Dang, just writing about this makes me want to go to sleep so I can have breakfast!

yea, didn’t work out so well.
Lesson learned: Too much time in the maker and agave nectar.

Next, I experimented with green protein powder and chia seeds.

Gross. Remove those 2 options.
Lesson learned: Don’t do that again!

I changed the recipe again and made the waffle with:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • 2 T of almond milk
  • 1 scoop of protein
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Cap full of vanilla
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • Topped with pb2 with water + sugar free syrup
  • 5:59 minutes in waffle maker

This is the best waffle yet and I look forward to even more iterations.

…So besides making you hungry, how does this apply to business? Two ways.

1- Iteration

Too often we get bogged down with daily fires to try to improve what we have.

When you start a business, it almost never ends up where you plan or expect it to be.

You have to continually tinker with what you’ve built.

One recent example is an AppSumo course we made. Here’s the timeline:

December 2012: Validating idea, coding and developing a site based on workshops and my experiences.

January 2013: More coding and development.

February 2013: Again, even more coding and development.

March 2013: Release site to beta members.

(That’s 4 months spent to get what felt like nowhere…)

May 2013: Updating the enrie course based on feedback and dropout points.

August 2013: Upgrading the course based on pages members spent too much time on.

December 2013: More upgrading to filter member who want to join.

February 2014: Even a year later we are still updating the course, the features, etc…..Get the point?


So it pisses me off when someone says, “I have-assedly tried something ONCE and it didn’t work! whine, whine…

What you expect your customers to like may not be exactly on point, so always keep improving.

2- Documentation

If I tried to recreate the recipe from memory every time, I’d be bound to forget things.

Writing it down and slowly changing the recipe helped me know which things were impacting the flavor.

Another example at AppSumo, for the past 2 years we’ve used Google Sites to document every single step necessary to be in our customer service position. Now, it is easy to onboard new staff and help them to consistently give the best service to Sumo-lings.

Are you tracking and documenting what’s going on with your business?

It’s when you stop iterating that you should start to take notice and question how you can make things better.

P.S. What’s your favorite breakfast food?

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124 responses to “Weird Business Lessons: What Waffles Can Teach Us About Business”

May 6, 2015 at 10:14 am

For non breakfast eaters like me, just a tablespoon of almond butter and a banana washed down with a glass if pure water when I wake up.
Then when i get to work i eat up my brunch (pre-made) consisting of 2 eggs, sweet potato, ground beef, cheese, and fried onions and avacado

July 29, 2014 at 2:09 am

If you like waffles, you’d likely give a try to the ones from Meert (north of France). You can order them through Internet. Those are different from the one you have cooked. They are thin and stuffed with vanilla cream.

Jayon Park
January 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Carne guisada with cheese tacos!!!

Matt Cassarino
January 22, 2014 at 8:40 am

a HUGE bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch!

Noah Kagan
January 22, 2014 at 9:23 am

Damn I miss the days of that and Lucky Charms!

January 21, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Protein pancakes + bacon + green smoothie. Dang.

Rebecca Haden
January 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

Beat the egg whites stiff and fold them into whatever else you put into your waffles.Your waffles will be crisp and light.

Noah Kagan
January 21, 2014 at 11:10 am

Neat idea. Will try out on a future batch

Clint Schaff
January 21, 2014 at 1:56 am

My favorite breakfast food is a bowl of fruit. So good, and goes with anything.

Noah Kagan
January 21, 2014 at 11:11 am

Amen to that. Also, I love to add some Greek yogurt or granola!

January 20, 2014 at 10:36 am

Sounds crazy, but I like leftover microwaved spaghetti!

Noah Kagan
January 20, 2014 at 10:55 am

Cold pizza is always great too.

January 20, 2014 at 9:58 am

Loved your thoughts on waffles and iteration/documentation. Thanks!

My favorite breakfast food at the moment is overnight, no-cook refrigerator oatmeal.

Found the recipe here:

1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raspberry jam, preserves, or spread
1/4 to 1/3 cup raspberries (cut each berry in half), or enough to fill jar

In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, vanilla, and raspberry jam. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add raspberries and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or as long as 2-3 days. Eat chilled.

Nutritional Info: 230 calories, 4g fat, 51g carbs, 8g fiber, 11g protein

Noah Kagan
January 20, 2014 at 10:58 am

What a great recipe Stacy. Thanks for sharing!!

January 20, 2014 at 8:29 am

It’s surprising that I didn’t see more fruit in the posts… I have 2 fuji apples and pb2 every single morning. During opal or honeycrisp season, I can be convinced to switch from fuji for a while.

January 20, 2014 at 7:56 am

French toast on thick bread with hashbrowns, bacon and fruit on the side!

January 20, 2014 at 3:45 am

Rolled oats with pumpkin seeds, almonds, soya protein powder, cinammon, coconut oil and dates. First pour boiling water onto the dates (doesn’t have to be fresh dates) and chop them up, gets the flavour into the water. Then put the rest in. I make a premix…awesome, packed with loads nutrients and low gi.

January 19, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Breakfast Tacos! Chorizo sausage, corn tortillas, eggs, milk, monterrey jack cheese, salsa, hot sauce, dash of salt and pepper = one epic morning. Who says you can’t have tacos at 7am?

James Martindale
January 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm

All of these comments are now my plans to have a different breakfast every day for quite some time XD

January 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I love breakfast! There’s been a ton of great breakfasts listed in the comments but my all time favourite is steel cut oats, topped with all kinds of different items depending on the day. Yum

January 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Feux Oatmeal!!! …is my new favorite breakfast! I got it off a Paleo site and I LOVE it. Squash a banana with a fork until it is super mushed. Add a couple dashes of baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon and one egg. Scramble these ingredients up and then add to a pan with a bit of coconut oil. Cook till egg is cooked and a bit toasty brown. Have in a bowl with fresh berries, chopped Pecans or nut of choice and toasted coconut flakes. Amazing!!!

January 19, 2014 at 3:30 pm

I suck at making time to eat breakfast. if I get your waffle maker however- i’ll send you a picture of me making waffles for the entire office!

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