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What if everything you thought you knew turned out to be wrong?

What if every ‘fact’ you took for granted was merely an assumption?

Assumptions are opportunities for those who see clearly. For everyone else, they can be traps.

Ten years ago, if you owned a business and wanted to accept credit cards, the approval process could take weeks. You had no guarantees of what you’d be paying, nor would you have any assurance that you wouldn’t be paying more a month or a year down the line. Many Merchant Service providers intentionally made their statements difficult to understand. The more difficult their statements, the more frustrated business owners became… yet there was really no alternative.

Until Square.

Every other Merchant Services provider scoffed. “Can’t people see that they’re overpaying with Square? How could anyone in their right mind ever give up the low pricing only we can offer?”

Business owners disagreed, and proceeded to flock to Square by the thousands. And they’re still flocking

Square saw an opportunity, and they were rewarded for it. Merchant Service providers were trapped by their own ‘facts,’ and they’ve only recently begun to catch on. Business owners care about far more than price. They wanted convenience, and they were willing to pay for it.

Square changed the landscape of an entire industry. Isn’t it time you questioned some of your assumptions?

Disruptive Waffles with Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream

  • Servings: 8 waffles
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: challenging
  • Print

Inspired by GNOWFGLINS and CHOW

In a world of gluten-free, low-carb, low sugar diets, a Square (waffle) is disruptive. The sea salt caramel ice cream on top doesn’t hurt, either.

The Waffles

  • 2 cups sourdough starter*
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 TBSP coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 eggs from happy hens
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed in a little cup with 1 tablespoon water
  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºF
  2. Plug in your Square waffle iron. It should be hot and ready to go by the time you have finished making your batter.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine sea salt, coconut oil, coconut palm sugar, and eggs. Whisk it about until the batter is nicely combined.
  4. Pour the starter on top of that. Cut it in and stir it with the whisk until incorporated.
  5. In a little cup combine 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon water. Stir it up a bit and then pour it on top of your batter. Whisk until pillowy, about four to five strokes. Resist the temptation to overwhisk.
  6. Open up your hot waffle maker and pour some batter on it, leaving space for it to expand.
  7. Place your finished waffles on a plate in the warm oven.

The Ice Cream

  • 2 and 1/2 cups raw cream
  • 1/2 cup whole raw milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, scraped, and seeds reserved
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel or other light sea salt
  • Fresh Berries for garnish
  1. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside.
  2. Combine cream, whole milk, and vanilla seeds in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan and stir until mixture resembles wet sand.
  4. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Let boil until mixture turns dark amber in color and smells toasted and delicious, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Immediately remove from heat and slowly add cream mixture in a thin stream, whisking until evenly incorporated. Return the saucepan to the stove and place over medium-low heat to keep warm.
  6. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a large bowl until pale yellow, about 5 minutes.
  7. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1 cup of the caramel sauce into the eggs. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining caramel sauce, stir in salt, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until it is as viscous as melted ice cream and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. (When you draw your finger across the spoon, it should make a mark through the custard, which should not run back in on itself.)
  8. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over the ice water bath to chill, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Once the ice cream base is cold, cover and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 3 hours or overnight. Once it’s chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  10. Serve with waffles and fresh berries. The ice cream will keep in the freezer for 1 week.

Disruptive Business Model, Assumptions, Square

Disruptive Waffles with Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Fresh Berries

If you recognize an assumption in your business or in the competition, don’t waffle. Call it out and create an opportunity. We will all thank you!

UPDATE 10/16/2015: Being disruptive will gain you an edge, but it won’t ensure success in the age of unicorns. Square recently announced it’s filing for an IPO, giving us a great opportunity to reflect on an overlooked opportunity… as well as some structural challenges on the horizon.

Please note that some of the links in this post may take you to affiliate sites. To read my full Affiliate Disclosure please click here.