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How the Rookie Crumbles

Is your business off to a crummy start? Learn how facing your faults can put your business on a solid foundation.

This story appears in the February 2004 issue of Start Up.

As scientific studies go, it at first sounds ridiculous. Makingheadlines last year was the news that a doctoral student in Englandhad identified the "that" in the expression,"That's how the cookie crumbles." Qasim Saleem andhis colleagues at Loughborough University in Leicestershire,England, used a laser beam to follow tiny deformations that form asthe cookie picks up moisture near the edge and loses it near thecenter.

What follows are ruptures in the cookie that make it susceptibleto crumbling, causing the cookie to be prone to disaster evenbefore the customer reaches for it. The point of the research isthat cookie makers want to stop throwing up their hands and saying"That's how the cookie crumbles." They want to fixthe problem-and save immeasurable dollars in lost cookie revenue inthe process.

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