But What Would Homer Simpson Say?
The issue is not whether an entrepreneur ought to pursue a dream. By all accounts, Dr. Bohannon has an intense personal attachment to caffeine: he reportedly drinks four to six cups of coffee a day, and even bought a coffeehouse in Durham. Nor is it whether government regulators ought to examine this product with suspicion, although the volume of caffeine Buhannon's product contains -- 75 milligrams to 100 milligrams, compared to 100 millligrams in an 8-ounce cup of coffee -- could make for some interesting family breakfasts if small children scarf down several Buzz Donuts (Bohannon's trademark for his product) before school.
The real issue is whether the humble doughnut needs to become yet another caffeinated product in our already overcaffeinated lives. Before any company chooses to adopt Dr. Bohannon's proposal, it should consider the likely reaction of the ultimate authority on doughnuts, Homer Simpson. Homer has not only an endless appetite for doughnuts -- having risked even his soul for a doughnut -- but also boundless faith in their virtues, once proclaiming, "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?" Homer also prizes diversity in doughnut types: as he put it, "American donuts. Glazed, powdered and raspberry-filled. Now how's that for freedom of choice?"
And yet, Homer would undoubtedly frown on Bohannon's creation. Doughnuts, to Homer (and maybe many more), represent everything that caffeine does not: sloth, inertia, and fixation on the pleasures of the moment. Surely he would take a stand against adulterating one of life's minor guilty pleasures -- if only he thought it important enough to try.