It’s Gonna be Cakes


“He flew to New York to visit his aunt on a Saturday morning. He was carrying a “funky looking grandma cake” – as he described it.  “Nothing special, not presentable, not finished.” Without a cake box to store it in, he covered it with blue plastic wrap. It looked quite ugly, frankly. But as he walked through the airport and held it in his lap on the plane, everyone had a friendly comment. The cake excited them. They invoked the birthdays of their lovers as reasons for him to give them the cake. He arrived at Kennedy and was sitting outside baggage claim, as he was overtaken with a clearheaded revelation: Cakes got people excited, even ugly grandma cakes. Cakes meant good times. Cakes were part of the celebration of life. People love to talk about cakes. The most time-consuming step in cake-making was putting a smooth finish on frosting, but this cake proved that a cake could look homemade and still trigger the drool reflex. He smelled opportunity.

That afternoon, sitting on a boat, he told his aunt, “It’s going to be cakes. Just cakes.”


– Excerpt from “What Should I do with My Life?” by Po Bronson


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