Peasants, Breakfast Cereal & Sanitariums
Real estate is a result of a transformation of our society. The earliest records of real estate date back to the first monarchies whereby royal families shared their wealth to increase their power, by signing away titles and deeds to lands to their powerful friends, allowing the holder to collect rent (I know the original “slum lord” may also have some merit during this time as well) from the peasants living there. However, peasants were able to trade with other kingdoms and eventually, houses (but not the land since that would have been held by the person with the title or deed at the time) were bought and sold and rented among the commoners, rather than the royal class. This also created the concept of “land leased properties” that is still sometimes seen even today.
Many people have heard the story of three friends – Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegel who started a small coffee store in Seattle named “Starbucks”. However, Starbucks became what it is today AFTER it was acquired by a man named Howard Schultz (who had become the director of marketing and operations for Starbucks in 1982). He actually was able to purchase the business for $3.8 million dollars and rapidly expanded the Starbucks stores everywhere. Did you know what the “story behind the story” is about Starbucks? The original 3 owners did NOT want to include espresso in their coffee repertoire and Schultz was so convinced that this would be a pivotal marketing tool to allow Starbucks to succeed. He was so committed to the power of the espresso that he actually started up his own coffee-bar business called Il Giornale which was extremely successful, and then purchased Starbucks one year later.
What do corn flakes have to do with enemas? Everything. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was a Seventh-Day Adventist who opened a well-known health retreat/ hospital called the Battlecreek Sanitarium” for very wealthy clients. Kellogg wanted his patients to have a high fiber grain-based food that would be nutritious and tasty for his clients. His clients included Thomas Edison and even Henry Ford. Dr. Kellogg ended up inventing the modern-day corn flake in the 1890’s and it became an instant hit with the patients. In addition to consuming healthy bowls of corn flakes, his patients also received up to 5 enemas a day AND electroshock therapy. This really made me enjoy my fruit smoothie even more this morning I must admit!
So, as you have your breakfast cereal, and wash it down with Venti Americano from Starbucks, while reading the latest real estate publication, you can feel comforted by the fact that we certainly have come a long way…