The Purple Cow, Seth Godin’s 2003 book on how success in the marketplace, was recommended to me this last week and though time has not been kind in some of his examples (The thought that cell-phones probably would never be successful as cameras; the concept of “Otaku” as a goal.), the basis of the book is solid: to succeed in business today your product must be “Remarkable.” A few of his thoughts really resonated:
We’ve been raised with a false belief: We mistakenly believe that criticism leads to failure.1
The greatest artists, playwrights, car designers, composers, advertising art directors, authors, and chefs have all had significant flops— it’s part of what makes their successful work great.1
The Opposite of “Remarkable” is “very good.”1
Go for the edges.1
The lesson is simple— boring always leads to failure. Boring is always the most risky strategy. Smart businesspeople realize this, and they work to minimize (but not eliminate) the risk from the process. They know that sometimes it’s not going to work, but they accept the fact that that’s okay.1
I saw these lessons in place in my recent visit to Daterra Coffee in Brazil. From the intense emphasis on quality at every step of the production process, to the extreme study of processes and equipment to create innovations taking the quality to an even higher level, and collaborations between Daterra, IAC, and Dr. Ernesto Illy in coffee science investigations; Daterra is truly remarkable.
In the vein of smart businesspeople minimizing risk, the CoffeeTalk team painstakingly puts together daily, weekly, and monthly publications with the goal of giving our readers distinct informational advantages so they may minimize risk and succeed in their businesses. In this issue, as always, we have a little something for every sector of the industry.
“What if we could produce a more uniform crop of cherries, cherries of selected size, known quality, time of harvest or even increased choice of geographic location?” Page 18, New World Coffee by Gregory Lupton
As a coffee shop or café, there are many ways to become more successful, and increasing your bottom line is no different. Although there are many factors that contribute to your business’s success, the first indicator to gauge your company’s success is typically the bottom line. Page 8, Connecting the Dots by Matthew Moseley
“It is a no-brainer to conclude “we” need to both adapt & evolve with the fluidness of what is happening around us. Often these effects of “change” cause speculation seen as adverse characteristics on the things we currently do. Along with most climate-related industries, the coffee industry drinks these effects but equally swallows opportunities for innovation & industry development.” Page 19, La Roya, A Farmer’s Story by Bill Fishbein
“So back in the day, I would have gladly paid to learn what I learned the hard way. Take advantage of the classes available to you. You will always learn something that will help you.” Page 22, Finding Value in Roasting Classes by Rocky Rhodes
“And so it goes at many of the PCCA’s events, where coffee professionals who belong to this West Coast based trade association realize that good business means making good friends; where sharing memorable experiences together creates bonds of friendship that form the basis of solid and trusting working relationships; where, “Work Hard, Play Hard” is a motto to be lived, and to be shared.” Page 24, Work Hard, Play Hard by John Hornung
We hope you enjoy this month’s stories and find some gems that will make a difference in your business. And please, we welcome your criticism and encouragement. Our goal is to be “Remarkable” and we realize that constructive criticism is really only the opportunity for us to be better. Please help us find the “edges” to help you succeed.
1Godin, Seth (2009-11-12). Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable