a his & hers weblog of worlds apart

Making Amends

At the beginning of this year I told myself I wanted to do more making. I’ve spent a lot of time the last few years thinking and typing, but I felt like I wanted to spend more time creating things I could touch.  Regrettably, I haven’t done a great job following through thus far. I’m more often looking for loopholes in my definition of ‘making’ than actually rolling up my sleeves. But recently, I’m proud to report that a few of us at work did make up a small batch of something closer in line with what I’d originally intended.

The story goes as follows. One day our EVP, Scott, came in with some mason jars full of a mystery beverage and starting sampling around the office. This isn’t all that notable for Scott. He’s what I’d call a food extremist (he moonlights as food performance artist) and also a consummate idea-man, so it’s natural that he’s always whipping up consumable creations. But this latest drink was a little different. Scott was convinced it could be the next big thing. Everyone who tried it was asked to guess what it was. We were informed the beverage has health benefits like increased metabolism and is made with only a few widely known, natural, ingredients. Still nobody guessed it.

Fast forward a few weeks. I pried the recipe out of Scott and we decided it would be fun to brew a small batch. We put together a little team, created a brand for his secret beverage and set a date to introduce it to the company. Given that we spend many days attempting to drive new ideas through big, slow Fortune 500 companies, it felt like it the perfect side project to practice the speed and rapid prototyping we preach.

In late September we unveiled the mystery potion for our Toronto office. Weirdie Bean is a cold concoction made from green, unroasted coffee beans. The off-centered branding is meant to reflect the quirky nature of the product. It also supports a cultural theme I’ve been thinking about a bunch lately (and references an awesome episode of a cartoon series nobody has ever heard of). The mason jar seemed like an obvious format choice for this first batch given the positioning and the product’s initial introduction to us.

What’s next for the drink (besides world domination)? I couldn’t tell you. But it’s been a very fun project so far, and it only reinforces what I’ve been missing in the making department.

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A special shout out to Weirdie Bean crew members Jess and Michael for helping make it happen. Be sure to check both their links. Aside from their day jobs, they each also have awesome side gigs of their own.

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2011 by in His Nurture Posts and tagged , , , , .

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