Let’s Talk Duds!

By Nathan Becker, Research & Client Care Specialist on Thursday, September 2nd 2021


We all make mistakes; some small, some large; but mistakes none-the-less.  Sometimes it seems like you might have one dud after another. Do you simply try to put past mistakes or duds behind you and move on; or do you pause and try to learn from the duds or mistakes that you’ve made in your life?

I recently wondered about the origin of the chocolate-covered caramels that come in the small yellow boxes called 'Milk Duds'.  If you’ve ever looked at the nutritional information about Milk Duds, you’ll find just a small amount – ten little duds - contains 130-calories; and to make matters worse, the candy sticks between your teeth for a large part of a day when you eat them.  So, why are these successful candies - Milk Duds, called duds? 

First created in 1926, they got their name simply because the maker found it impossible to form perfectly round little balls, so they were simply named “duds”.

These duds can put on a smile on my face, but financial duds are much less sweet.  They can stick with you for a lifetime.  

But here are some other “duds” that turned successful:

Penicillin was discovered because a contaminated, discarded Petri dish containing a mold was found to be killing the bacteria around it.

Microwave ovens were created by accident when an engineer was conducting radar research with a new vacuum tube and a candy bar melted in his pants’ pocket.

Post-it notes were created because the adhesive created, wasn’t strong enough to hold paper together tightly.

Sometimes, we make mistakes along the way; but other times, we can learn from our mistakes and make improvements for better days ahead.


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