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I love hot sauce

Ramit Sethi

I seriously love spicy food and will challenge anyone to eat with me. And please don’t say, “Have you tried Dave’s Insanity Sauce??” Yes, I have, and it sucks. I’m talking about hot sauces that are really hot but also taste good.

Anyway, last year, I had the idea of starting a business around hot sauces: I was going to write a blog on hot sauces, review them, get a bunch of fanatical people who love them together (surprisingly, there are a lot, but we don’t like sunlight too much), and then launch a hot-sauce-of-the-month and pen-of-the-month club!

It sounds weird, but there are lots of “wine of the month” clubs. I researched the prices and found they were making a lot on markup. In other words, people pay to get products selected by someone they trust.

Oh, one more thing: I was debating between doing this business around hot sauces or pens. A lot of weird people like great pens, too.

I didn’t get around to starting these (PBwiki came along) but today, I found This guy is the bomb–just read his reviews. Plus, he has a hot sauce of the month club.

Ideas are cheap (see The Myth of the Great Idea) and a year later, my idea is worth exactly 0. But I am totally and completely humbled by this HotSauceBlog guy and how far he’s taken it.

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  1. avatar

    i like hot stuff too.. but some restaurants just give hot but tasteless food..

  2. avatar

    Alright, a genuine pen conisseur! Now let’s wait for when Ramit writes a blog, half of which is devoted to a frustrating experience he recently had with a cheap pen, which made him very disappointed with whichever business he happened to be “forced” to use it at… and how he’ll *never* go there again.

  3. avatar
    Ramit Sethi

    Wow, you’re bitter!

  4. avatar

    My problem with hot sauce\pen ofthe month club is, how much hot sauce do you actually go through? How many pens do you really want around?

    I have a great idea to answer both of these questions. THe hotsauce pen. It’s a pen, but with hot sauce instead of ink!! Small amount of hotsauce, and you just throw the pen away!

  5. avatar

    Doesn’t this counter the previous post about frat boy business ideas?

    You probably rejected the Hot Sauce plan because you would consider it as a frat boy business idea, but then someone else jumped on it and ran with it.

    Not every idea is going to make you a millionaire. But typically one idea leads into another which may spark the ultimate plan. [ie eBay, Craigslist, Wikipedia…]

    Instead of telling people to reject “frat boy ideas”, you should be encouraging them to run with it and keep evolving from that point.

  6. avatar

    Hot Sauce is amazing! (Your Myth of the Great Idea link isnt working)

  7. avatar
    Ramit Sethi

    Fixed. Thanks!

  8. avatar

    Love hot sauces. My dad never considered a meal complete unless he was sweating. I think I’ve refined this a little bit. I like my hotness, but I don’t want it to be overpowering either.

    Is it me, or people like David just sheer poison at the beginning of a business venture. They’re trying to cut down a tree without even giving it some sunlight and water. His questions are really valid, but not something worth hearing at the get go. On the other hand, Ramit, I think the idea is great and would say you were undervaluing yourself by proclaiming your idea is worth 0… well until I saw the sheer passion and thoroughness Hot Sauce Blog has.

    Johnie! I totally agree with you. I think you’re dead on! The subtext in the frat-boy post (and many posts on this site) is there’s no get rich quick schemes in life. A lot of hard work is usually involved. But you’ll get paid for your effort.

  9. avatar

    I’d actually say that I think both the sauce and pen ideas are bad ideas for a business. #1 problem, how are you gonna make money? Sounds fun, like a frat boy idea, but is a blog really the best way to make money from you time?

    I get that wine of the month clubs make money on the markup, but you’d have to spend time building a reputation that allows that markup no? Seems like it’d be about as profitable as writing a book, and becoming a successful author.

    If you really want a successful business in hot sauce, then I’d ask, how would you improve the experience of hot sauce, from the bottle to the food to any point along the process of using hot sauce? That blog only addresses one aspect of the process, that of selection, but there is so much more to hot sauce, right?

  10. avatar
    Mike Czepiel

    Wow, seriously me and a few friends, ok well one other, have a things for quality pens as well.

    (We’re still dismayed that our old favorite, the Uniball Deluxe, was discontinued/retooled(?)) Actually uniball has been going the way of gimmicks these days sadly. I’ve found myself experimenting with pilot and rotring more often. Would love to hear about your interests in pens.

    Oh yeah, and hot sauce is awesome 🙂 I have a bit of a stash myself.

    BTW awesome blog. Your series on index/mutual funds etc. was approachable and informative. Keep it up.

  11. avatar

    Glad to know I’m not the only one with a thing for both hot sauce and pens!

    My current favorite brands are Death Sauce and Cross Pens, respectively. 🙂

  12. avatar
    Tina Brooks

    Good hot sauce IS amazing.

    Unfortunately, most hot sauce is better called hot vinegar.


  13. avatar

    Greetings from Dubai. We get Nandos Peri-Peri sauce here. You have to try the Extra hot one. It’ll blow you away!! I’ve had it in England too so perhaps its also available to you folks in the States.

    Anyway, regarding your posts on saving and investing, perhaps you could add a supplementary note from an international persepective where 401 schemes, etc. are replaced by an alternative?

  14. avatar
    Tim Sharkey

    I love Hot Sauce and Pens!!! Well enough to start my own Hot Sauce brand “California Habanero Blends” we launch in two weeks. Flavor is first, stay away from vinegar.

    I love the older UniBall have an old stash from a few past jobs running out though. Current new pen TomBow? very nice but have to wait to get refills not common. Good Posts. And you can have fun wih Hot Sauce I am. You just have to sell a boat load to make any money. Right on spot about the hard work. With no efforts there will be no rewards!

  15. avatar

    Yes, I love hot peppers, but am not interested in the capsaicin-extract based items. I’m looking forward to growing some Bhut Jolokia (hottest peppers ever) this summer! I wonder how they will taste.

    I am thinking about selling organic hot sauce and maybe organic vegan chili on ebay (at first). I like meat, but I figure there is a niche market for the vegan chiliheads (maybe). I have a large pressure canner, and have made/bottled mead/beer/wine for friends for awhile. The great thing is, there is no real startup costs, and anything I don’t sell will definitely not go to waste. Should be a lot of fun!

  16. avatar

    i love the heat,what most folks shy away from i embrace. but not that kind of heat that burns to the core but one thats slow and warming.more adapted to the taste of the flame..i to along with seth have developed a wing sauce unlike no other in my opinion. so for those who would like a taste of the mellow flame i will gladly send a small sample,with instructions on how to order. rock on ramit awesome blog.

  17. avatar

    I can’t wait to launch my strawberry/banana hot sauce in South Africa. I never heard of a hot sauce that can be used for marinade. Euphoria hot sauce indeed! The taste speaks for itself!

  18. avatar
    Tony McLean

    I’m try to starts my own
    Hot sauce business
    I have ah few batches
    Which are 90%
    Organic which I planted
    My own peppers
    And herbs two years
    ago I don’t know how
    To launch my product
    For mass production

  19. avatar
    Sa, Thomas

    Spycesauce creates 100% hot chilli sauce with natural ingredients for a perfect delight. Buy online habanero chili hot sauce from