Celebrating the Cocktail Napkin

In Nairobi, there are thousands of conversations that happen at restaurant lunches or over evening drinks in bars. Most are mundane, sports related, money driven, contemplation of sex, and sometimes they are about business.

A lot of conversations don’t go anywhere beyond the bar. But out of a few of these, some will – through a chat, watching TV, or other exchange of idea – experience a moment of clarity (Think Pulp Fiction) – a realization of logic, or a plan or an urgent action to be taken.

However, by having one more drink or a new conversation, the idea is forgotten, or shot down or entrepreneurial innovation is mentally discarded as being unfeasible

One way to transform the moment of clarity into action is by using a cocktail napkin – i.e. sketch out ideas, plans, or action points to be taken after the bar session. Some great ideas initiatives around here, are the products of cocktail napkins like Praekelt and SwiftRiver.

So how can we celebrate the cocktail napkin? Kengeles Pub used to have a bell that they would ring, when a bar VIP walked in – perhaps the person who has had the million dollar idea can use it to signal that (i) he is not to be disturbed or distracted (ii) he has to dash out to start working on his life-changing plan (iii) he will settle the bill on his next visit!

Also bars can avail pens & classy note pads for aspiring people to jot down their ideas. This will help when (the next morning) the entrepreneur empties his pockets to find a crumpled, soggy napkin with illegible writing Also the note pad paper will look important enough that the spouse or maid about to do the house washing, will not throw it into the trash.

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