It’s the last Foodie Friday before Christmas and this week I want to talk about garbage.
It’s on my mind because last night I watched an interesting episode of Chopped, the Food Network’s show where cooks have to use a basket of ingredients that don’t seem to go with one another to make great dishes in 30 minutes. The baskets last night all consisted of “garbage” – food that most home cooks often toss out. Herb stems, bread ends, fish heads and other generally discarded items made up the ingredient lists. The cooks did well and as food professionals they demonstrated the principle that nothing should be wasted by a professional. Or as The Dead would say, “one man gathers what another man spills.”
Jacques Pepin has said this for years on his TV shows – use everything, throw nothing out. He even takes leftovers and turns them into new dishes. Which of course is an excellent thought for all business professionals, especially as most businesses move into content creation (surely you’ve heard that everyone is a publisher, haven’t you!?).
Some of my clients fail to observe the immutable law that there is no garbage can on the internet. While something shot for a TV commercial may not be usable in that 30-second format, the web has no such time constraints. The speech given at a small conference to an interested audience of a hundred people can become a blog post and then summarized for inclusion in an email newsletter (talk about making something new out of the leftovers!). The audience of a hundred can now be thousands with very little extra effort.
Everything we create in our business lives has some value. Perhaps that value isn’t to us in the moment but tossing anything of value out when there are so many ways to slice and dice it into something quite tasty is more than a waste. License it out, recut it, format it for another channel. The trash bin is the last place anything ought to go. Agreed?