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Finding Joy in Small Things

Hello again! I just returned from an amazing, humid, fun-filled month in Japan with my family, made possible by our time freedom.


We hiked on Mt. Fuji, pet a capybara, drove on musical roads, saw a cat in glasses, and ate at least 20 different rare flavors of Kit-Kats. But one of the most fascinating things were the capsule toy (gachapon) machines everywhere – typically known as gumball machines in the U.S., but full of all sorts of random micro items in Japan. As an avid collector of miniatures since my youth, I excitedly picked up a mini matcha drink, mini sushi set, mini teapot, and even a mini Diamond Head crater that zooms around on pull-back wheels. Pretty much anything you could dream up could be found in these machines – mini Denny’s meals, mini enemas, mini public lice, and even mini emotional flan desserts:


These are all cat-themed! 😸



Some of the weirder ones, including my cute matcha!


Locals and tourists were clamoring over these machines, feeding more and more coins to get the treasures they desired.


This led me to think about how, in our own businesses and lives, do we create products that people will fight over themselves to pay money for? How do we create the ideal property, rental, or offering that people can’t say ‘no’ to?


As far as the capsule toys, they were just little pieces of plastic, but maybe they created a tiny spark of needed joy – the joy of the hunt, sharing the unknown surprise, and a new little treasure to remember it all by.


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