It’s the early 1980s, and in Bangkok, Thailand, a jet-lagged toothpaste marketing exec named Dietrich Mateschitz has just tasted Krating Daeng, an energy tonic popular with rickshaw drivers. The flavor is repellant—it’s sickly sweet—but to Mateschitz’s surprise, it completely cures his jetlag. Suddenly, he sees a business opportunity. Energy drinks like these are huge in East Asia, but virtually unheard of in Europe. The biggest challenge will be figuring out how to market it—starting with a new name. He knows “Krating Daeng” won’t sell, so he opts for the nearest English equivalent: Red Bull.
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