The Boba Guys Celebrate Halloween with Their Greatest Fear The Boba Guys Celebrate Halloween with Their Greatest Fear
Business

The Boba Guys Celebrate Halloween with Their Greatest Fear

by Bin , Andrew C

October 28, 2011


Today we want to address a process question: “What is the scariest part of starting a business?” After all, no better time to talk about our fears than right before Halloween.

The scariest part of starting Boba Guys is falling flat on our faces in front of friends and family (or on a public forum like GOOD). Most entrepreneurs need to come to grips with this fear, accept the fact that most new businesses do not make it past the second year, and, like us, begin to figure out ways to fail-proof their business.

We focused on one area that would be either the source of glorious winning or the root of an epic flameout: Operations. Over the past month, we have relied on the pop-up distribution model as our momentum builder. The blessing and the curse of this model is that it condenses customer demand, typically spread out over a day, into a small window of time. In order to accommodate the massive spike, we needed a way to handle a lot of people trying to buy our product at once: We think of it as merging a four-lane highway into one lane without slowing down traffic.

Our mentors, founders of a local pop-up ramen shop in the area, gave us sage advice: “The most important part of a pop-up: don’t make people wait.” If a customer’s first experience is a bad one, we will need to work extra hard to win them back. It's a matter of avoiding the first date follies: “She ain’t ever coming back, bro.”

We had rehearsed drink production on a small scale, but our first public event was nearly 10 times as many people. In order to fail-proof the operation, we relied on good ol’ fashioned arithmetic. Aligning with our scientific-method motif, we created a process flow chart to help wrap our brains around the problem. The image for this post is the slide that we used to document the flow for our staff. Building a model for making boba sounds a bit silly, but it made us sleep easier!

This week’s entries were meant to answer questions from our fans, but to also reveal some of the quirkiness and depth that goes into a startup. We think every team has a different approach to solving problems, so if you have interesting tidbits about your startup, we would love to hear from you.

See you next week!

You can Meet the Boba Guys each Monday & Thursday.

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The Boba Guys Celebrate Halloween with Their Greatest Fear