I remember I was sitting in "New York Times", a bar founded by my mentor and second business partner Eric Shogren and we were talking about the future of Traveler’s Coffee having the same conversation that we’d had many times before. It was 1999 and we were just about to open the first Traveler’s Coffee espresso bar in New York Pizza on Lennina Street in Novosibirsk, Russia (BTW that’s in the heart of Siberia folks).
“People just wont pay 50 Rubles for a cup of coffee here (that was about $2.50 at the time), much less warrant the cost of building a roasting facility to roast the beans on a regular basis.”
Mind you this was the guy that brought Pizza and beer all throughout Siberia. And this was the discussion I had with countless investors and potential partners from the 1997-2003. Then it happened, the Russian coffee boom of the naughties (that’s the 00 years of the 21st Century) and the teens. Now there are countless micro-roasters and coffee bars and coffeehouses all throughout Russia, as in most countries of the world today.
You see, that’s the way things are… until something is actually done and done over and over again we will never know if the idea, product or service will actually work because of the simple fact that no one has ever done it before. It’s the plight of all innovators and things new. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those, “There’s no such thing as a stupid idea” kinda guys… in fact I’ve heard a lot of really stupid ideas and come up with my share of them. What I’m saying here is that you have to assemble the right type of people that are open to an idea, give it a thorough and critical thinking over and then bring it to market and after many, many iterations you will see if it has merit or not.
So, what does that have to do with us, the café owner, the taco truck guy, the restaurateur? Simple, just remember that your menu or design concept will need time to prove itself and you will have to have enough resources to support that baby while it grows and becomes a viable business. I’ll be posting more on basics of knowing how to see if you have the next big idea or not… until then keep ‘em coming!