Business lessons you can learn from the evolution of carrots

By Alex J | Friday, 11 November 2016

Fun Fact: Did you know that carrots used to be purple?

Before the 17th century, carrots were originally cultivated in a region in Persia (present day Afghanistan and Iran). Back then, they were either purple, yellow, or red. At that time, the vegetable was cultivated mainly for aromatic purposes.

Fast forward several centuries, the Europeans were introduced to carrots when the Moors brought it to Spain. It was only during the 17th century that some Dutch farmers started harvesting the orange variety that we have today.

You must be wondering why this could be a useful piece of information – especially when you run a business. Well, there are surprisingly useful insights about carrots that entrepreneurs can learn from:

Lay the ground work for your business

In order for carrots to grow, you also have to nurture the soil. Nourishing the ground is important to produce healthy carrots. And you should do the same for your business. To lay the groundwork of your endeavours, not only should you plan how to start your business, you should also map out its direction. Think of this as a guide when your company starts to progress.

No need to be original to be different

You don't have to be an innovator in order to succeed. For instance, Apple did not invent the first MP3 player. What propelled the iPod's success was its integration to other Mac devices and user interface.

The same could be said when the Dutch started harvesting orange carrots. The reason people started eating them wasn't just because the colour was different. The orange carrot was plumper and sweeter compared to the purple one, which was why it caught on.

Feel free to experiment different strategies

With a new colour and improved flavour, it did not take long for the Dutch's breed of carrots to spread in other parts of Europe. It also didn't take long for countries like France and England to breed their own variety.

The point is these countries took their own risks and started experimenting. One way to diversify a business is to try out different methods and strategies. Ultimately, one of these experiments will pay off. If not, at least you gathered enough information to help improve your business.

Know where to expand your business

Because the carrot had plenty of uses, it is no wonder that it was exported worldwide. If you want to expand your business, you need to determine which territories your business would most likely thrive in. These days, a lot of businesses are expanding in Asia because it is one of the fastest developing regions in the world. Asia is recognised as a region of opportunity because it still has a developing environment, a growing number of consumers, and advanced infrastructure. All these factors make Asia a promising region for businesses.

Given the carrot's colourful history, it is not surprising that you could learn a few things for your business to grow. By following these tactics, hopefully your business would thrive just as well.