• Story of the Starbucks Name

    The name Starbucks for a coffee shop is not exactly one you’d pull out of thin air. Maybe whoever started it was a big fan of Battlestar Galactica? No, more likely, whoever created the Starbuck character for Battlestar was a fan of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. This was exactly where Starbucks Coffee got its name, as well.

    Starbuck was the name of the first mate of the whale-ship Pequod, the ship in Moby Dick. The background of the Starbucks Coffee founders would seem enough to suggest a connection to this literary classic. The company was started by three Seattle men, Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin, and Zev Siegl. Bowker was a writer, Baldwin was an English teacher, and Siegl was a history teacher. They opened the first store in 1971 and called it Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spices.

    This early store was a retail location that sold premium coffee beans, coffee equipment, and a drip coffee maker made by the Swedish company Hammarplast. They got their beans from Peet’s, a coffee retail store founded in Berkley, California, in 1966 by Alfred Peet. This first Starbucks store was simply an imitation of Peet’s, with which the trio had been impressed. They bought Peet’s in 1984 and then decided to focus on Peet’s brand, selling Starbucks to Howard Schultz.

    Schultz had been Starbucks’s director of marketing in 1982. He thought that Starbucks should sell not only coffee beans but also espresso. The owners weren’t interested, so Schultz left in 1985 to start his coffee bar chain. Once he acquired Starbucks in 1987, he converted it into a coffee bar and began rapidly expanding, turning the company into the huge force it is today.

    Bowker, the writer, came up with the name Starbucks. Looking at an old mining map of the Cascades and Mount Rainer area, Bowker saw a town called Starbo. It reminded him of the first mate in Moby Dick. He liked how the name sounded, even though it had nothing to do with coffee. The three founders approved the name and added an “s” to make it sound better.

    In their early advertising material, Starbucks referred to “the coffee-loving first mate named Starbuck. The Herman Melville Society took umbrage to this and contacted the company, telling them that Starbuck does not drink coffee anywhere in Moby Dick. Before you read through Moby Dick again, trying to catch Starbuck enjoying a cuppa joe, it’s true: He never drinks coffee in the book.

    Starbucks Was Almost Called Cargo House

    Starbucks branding is truly iconic. Even without seeing a logo, you can probably spot its drinks just by the color of the straw. But as often as you’ve passed (and, let’s be honest, stopped at) the coffee chain, you probably haven’t given its name a second thought. Just make sure you’re not committing any of these barista pet peeves.

    Just looking at a Starbucks cup doesn’t give much of a hint about what its name means. The woman in its logo is a mythological siren, so what does that have to do with stars? Or bucks? And why is it one word?

    Originally, the chain was going to be called “Cargo House, which would have been a terrible, terrible mistake,” co-founder Gordon Bowker tells the Seattle Times. The owners had also considered using “Pequod” after Captain Ahab’s ship in Moby Dick.

    But Terry Heckler, the brand consultant who designed the chain’s logo, wasn’t so crazy about that name either. Heckler mentioned offhand that, like these power words, things starting with “st” sounded powerful—a good trait for a brand that would grow to more than 25,000 locations by 2016. From there, Bowker made a list of “st” words. But Starbucks wasn’t on it. Another Starbucks marketing choice: take a look at the real reason why Starbucks coffee sizes aren’t small, medium, and large.

    As the team tried landing on a name, Heckler brought out an old 1800s map of Mt. Rainier and the Cascades. The name of one mining town, Starbos, stood out to Bowker. He immediately thought of the first mate on the Pequod: Starbuck.

    They added the S because it sounded more conversational. After all, anyone talking about the coffee shop would probably say they were “going to Starbucks,” so they might as well make it official.

    The company says its name “evoked the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders,” but Bowker brushes that off. He says Moby Dick has nothing to do with their coffee, and “it was only coincidental that the sound seemed to make sense.” But hey, we didn’t need a nautical adventure anyway. We’re perfectly content with a simple latte.

  • Deep Summer Dive into Binance Smart Chain

    Three weeks ago I started learning everything I could about the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem. I haven’t felt this excited about a technology since I saw video chat for the first time in an internet café in Northampton Massachusetts. I have a lot to say, but I must get back to learning about Yield Farms.

  • Interviewing Myself

    Made this template to take notes during my #jobstobedone interviews next week. I’m sitting at a cafe interviewing myself on recent purchases to understand customer push, pull, and anxiety better. #jtbd #buildinpublic

  • BOS COFFEE: Weekly OKRs – July 30th

    OUR MISSION: To fund the release of every rehabilitated orangutan back into the rainforest – one supporter, and one cup at a time.

    Q3 OBJECTIVE: Establish BOS Coffee as a suitable replacement for supporters’ (AKA customers) existing home coffee.

    • KR: 50 new supporters a month – 60%
    • KR: 30% monthly returning supporters – 60%
    • KR: $2,000 a month in sales 100% <- this is my feeling we will hit this goal

    PRIORITIES THIS WEEK

    • Getting shipment out. DONE. Happy to say that we got all newsletter shipments out on-time. 
    • Why do people buy our coffee?- IN-PROGRESS. Learning the process. Set up interviews with friends. The #JTBD Method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzezRI9KNKY
    • Improve transactional emails. IN PROGRESS. I’m keeping a close eye on this to better all transaction emails.
    • Subscription errors. IN PROGRESS There is a bit of complexity with PayPal and our software. Causing me a lot more work. Exploring a fix to streamline.

    NEXT 4 WEEK PROJECTS

    • RETENTION: Implement a wide range of automated engaging customers emails (Welcome, Abandon cart, Birthday, etc.)
    • CUSTOMER EXPERINCE: Improve Product Packaging with Logo Stamp & Box Insert
    • CUSTOMER EXPERINCE: Update website with copy and smoother flow
    • OPERATIONS: Set-up shipping to EU

    NOTES:  As you can see, objective & key results are constant, but projects are changing to hit the objective. This week I focused on #jtbd interviews. Before talking with our customers, I want to experiment with the method on friends. My goal is to understand how the coffee in their kitchen ended up there. When I wasn’t preparing for interviews, I was fulfilling orders and tweaking our software to be more automated.

  • BOS COFFEE: Weekly OKRs – July 23rd

    OUR MISSION: To fund the release of every rehabilitated orangutan back into the rainforest – one supporter, and one cup at a time.

    Q3 OBJECTIVE: Establish BOS Coffee as a suitable replacement for supporters’ (AKA customers) existing home coffee.

    • KR: 50 new supporters a month-  50% chance of success
    • KR: 30% monthly returning supporters –  20%
    • KR: $2,000 a month in sales  –  80%

    PRIORITIES THIS WEEK

    • Newsletter sold 1,100 EURO worth of coffee. DONE. Thursday & Friday busy fulfilling orders
    • Redesigned all transactional emails. DONE. Better communication and flow to track orders from payment to delivery.
    • Add package tracking. DONE. Every customer can now track their package via DHL.
    • Create FAQ: DONE. This will evolve into something very useful.
    • Customer experience tweaks to the Website. DONE. Bunch of small changes that add up. You can see changelog here: Changelog – BOS Coffee (orangutan.de)
    • Re-engaging existing customers strategy. IN-PROGRESS. Heavy research into automating post-purchase retention email with MailChimp.
    • Post-purchase customer survey – IN-PROGRESS. We need to know what motivated people to buy our coffee. Researching JTBD Method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzezRI9KNKY

    NEXT 4 WEEK PROJECTS

    • Set-up JTBD Survey
    • Test Influencers Marketing
    • Set-up Instagram Shop
    • Test giveaways & Contests on Facebook & Instagram
    • Reach out to Gorillas or Flink
    • Green Banking Rewards program.
    • Setup Amazon Store
    • Press release
    • Set-up shipping to EU
    • Secure first retail
    • Improve Product Packaging

    NOTES: I’m radically focused on user experience and retention. There’s no reason we can’t deliver a great experience. Next, we need to find out what motivates people to buy our coffee. Demographics are not enough. The amount of orders we got in is showing me where our fulfillment needs work.

  • BOS COFFEE: Weekly OKRs – July 16th

    OUR MISSION: To fund the release of every rehabilitated orangutan back into the rainforest – one supporter, and one cup at a time.

    Q3 OBJECTIVE: Establish BOS Coffee as a suitable replacement for supporters’ (AKA customers) existing home coffee.

    • KR: 50 new supporters a month  
    • KR: 30% monthly returning supporters
    • KR: $2,000 a month in sales

    PRIORITIES THIS WEEK

    • Secure first retail NOT DONE: Got a request from a store. We are talking. I need to work out pricing structure with roaster & BOS.
    • Re-engaging existing customers strategy: NOT DONE: Watching tons of YouTube videos to create a retention strategy plan to execute on.
    • Improve Product Packaging NOT DONESubmitted designs for BOS approve. This will be a process. Baby Steps to awesome packaging.
    • Set-up Facebook Shop & Pixel DONE: Shop is live. Tracking everything with a FB Pixel via server side API
    • Set up package tracking with DHL –DONE: Orders now are being charged for DHL with tracking.
    • Finalize Anthony & BOS relationship DONEWe had productive meeting. I’m thrilled. All my attention on hitting these OKRs.
    • User Experience: DONE: Increase page speed by tweaking and removing imagines & plugins

    NOTES: We can do a much better job on user experience and retention. I am focusing on this in July. What is the point of getting new supporters if we can’t wow and keep existing? Taking the baby step approach. One tweak at a time. And we finally got a thermal printer.

  • Playing with Amazon Sales Center

    A few weeks ago I started playing with selling on Amazon for a Brand I’m building. There is a lot to learn before you can sell as a Brand on Amazon. Yesterday I made my first sale yester while I was on a boat with the family. It was for a vacuum cleaner adaptor. Today I’m sitting at a café fulfilling the order. Its all coming together.

  • Why is being alone scarier than failing?

    I set a goal to launch five ideas in 2021. This would atone me for failing to launch past projects and help me get over my fear of launching in public. But somehow this morphed into “launching five of my ideas with other people.”

    Before the New Year, I approach someone I worked with on Gvbck to join me on my Sharescrption idea. But after two weeks, it was clear that the partnership was not working. I’ve been here before. Sadly plenty of times. I know what someone who is not committed feels like. There is a simple test…. stop calling.

    And that is what I did three weeks ago. I stopped calling. If he calls me we have a different problem. But if he does not call me I’m right. Not committed.

    He has not called me in three weeks. In that time I built and launched Sharescrption from scratch. And it’s making sales.

    The most important question here is not why didn’t the partnership work. It’s how did “launch five ideas” morph into “launch five ideas with other people.” I’ll need to do a little soul searching to answer that one. This is a generational problem. Like my father before me, Barba’s have more success when they go alone. Yet, they do everything they can to not be alone. Why is being alone scarier than failing for us Barba’s?

    Another thing COVID has forced me to accept is that I can do a lot more alone than I thought I could and it’s way faster. Going forward I’m going alone.

    Keeping the thumb in the photo #Wabi-sabi.
  • Learning to take time off

    I worked none stop while my family was away, yet I felt guilty for taking an afternoon off to go sledding with my daughter. I’m sure glad I did. It was one of the best days we had together in a long time. Hell, it was one of the best days I’ve period in a long time. COVID-19 continues to realign my priorities.

    The snow was gone 12 hours after this photo was taken.