During my four-year period of underachievement known as college, an economics teacher, Mr. Walgrebe, once handed out an assignment requiring us to map out a business model and concept that you could present to a bank in hopes of getting a loan. Normally, an assignment like this would have thrilled me like a sprained ankle, but in a rare moment of academic motivation, I rushed to the library and began my research. I even went to one of the loan officers at a local bank branch and explained my mission.

When I handed in my submission for an upscale pizzeria, Mr. Walgrebe told me that listing the proposed menu and sketching the interior were fine, but what was missing were the details of how the place would actually generate revenue, such as customer counts, food and overhead costs, and average check prices.

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