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The Rocket Lawyer Food Truck Experiment

Last week, Rocket Lawyer “on tour” took Chicago’s ABATechshow by storm with a part crowdsourcing, part business brainstorm, part artistic, Food Truck Experiment.

On the opening night of the techshow-come-conference, we challenged 200 lawyers to collectively guess the weight of one of our favorite trucks — “Curry up Now,” and then, together in groups, to come up with an idea and business plan of their own !

We started with a short presentation introducing the concept of the food truck as a business model, and profiling a few of our favorites — Curry Up Now, The Chairman (think Chairman Mao) and Taim Mobile (taim odum means very tasty in Hebrew!) What do all these trucks have in common? They operate like a smart business, not only making great food, but paying attention to branding, the market they are operating within and considering location as a primary factor to their success.

The point of these narratives? To help our audience understand what goes into starting, and running, a successful business.

Then, we turned the night over to what we hoped would be gloriously creative participants (and they were)! Considering 1. the product they wanted to sell, 2. who their customers would be, and 3. how the product would be marketed, here’s a taste of what we got:

1. Everything from wild wings, to breakfast burritos, brownies and beer on a spigot!

2. A lucrative market in the hunger pangs of late-night partiers who need protein at 3am, and sports fans of all ages attending a variety of events.

3. Social media featured prominently, alongside a catchy name, colorful truck and fun dish names — my personal favorite was the menu of burritos named after country songs !

This achieved, one of the best parts of the evening actually came at the very end when each team nominated a “leader” to come up on stage and present their food truck, complete with business plan, and a drawing produced by our wonderful artist for the night, Hazel Delgado.

Good fun was had by all, and I think a lesson or two was learned about thinking like practising, in every industry, like an entrepreneur.

The final reveal of the evening was the grand “wisdom of the crowd” experiment. Guests were invited to tweet in their guesses throughout the night, and after a shaky start, with guesses ranging from 4000-6000 lbs (a regular car weighs around 6000 lbs!), we made it.

Collectively, we reached an answer within 500 lbs of the real weight of the truck. Phew. We look forward to repeating a similar experiment with new audiences — we can’t wait to see how well they match up to our inaugural attempt.

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