In an iconic episode of Seinfeld, Kramer (Michael Richards) starts his own business—Kramerica Industries. He recruits Darrin (Jarrad Paul), an intern from NYU and, together, the two set out to enact change. The new company’s mission is ridding the world of oil-spill catastrophes.
Kramer’s big idea is to put a rubber bladder in the hull of oil tankers, so if one were to run into, say, an iceberg, the hull may get ruptured but the bladder would remain intact, preventing the tanker’s load from spilling into the sea.
During the product development stage, Kramer and Darrin devise a test: They fill a huge rubber ball (like two feet in diameter) full of crude oil and push it out the window of a Manhattan high rise. The show’s producers leave the outcome to the viewer’s imagination.
The thing is, Kramer’s idea isn’t bad. It’s his test that was ill fated. Just the same, Kramer fails as an entrepreneur not because of a poorly designed and executed test, but because he gives up too soon—instead of pushing on to realize his dream, he immediately changes course: Says Kramer to Darren while staring down at their splash pattern, “Well, that didn’t work. Hey, how about this: ketchup and mustard in the same bottle.” Darren is all in. Check it out.