Tapioca and Error: How the Boba Guys Failed Their Way to a Winning Recipe

The Boba Guys use trial-and-error to find their winning recipe and learn the upside of failure.

Conventional wisdom holds that failure is a sign of weakness, but we've found the more you embrace the possibility of missteps, the more courageous you become. While everyone fears failure, breakthroughs depend on flirting with disaster: Paradoxically, failure is key to success—no risk, no reward, right? We’d like to show you a case of how we’ve failed (so far) and what we learned from the experience.

That grotesque image above was our very first attempt at preparing boba, the pearl tapioca so essential to our boba tea project. Our only knowledge of creating boba was gleaned from YouTube video tutorials and mom-friendly how-to sites. They seemed to agree on one way to cook boba, and so we followed their approach. We were able to get the boba to taste ok, but not great. We knew what great tasted like and we were far from it.

We began to evaluate all the variables that go into a cup of boba tea. We designed test cases for each brand of boba we came across and logged the results into a massive spreadsheet. Night after night, we’d meet after work to make trial batches of boba to test and taste, experimenting with cooking at different temperatures. We ran boiling and cooling tests down to 60-second increments, to no avail. Why did it turn out so terribly?

It took us a month and a half (and one incident where all-day boba tasting left our tongues so numb and heads so dizzy that we almost swore it off altogether) to learn the answer: We had failed to question our assumptions.

We’d assumed that the boba we’d purchased was fit for our uses, but not all boba are created equal. And neither were the next five brands of boba, or the five after that.

 Eventually we honed in on the right one. It was consistent in taste and texture after cooking and it took on the properties of whatever flavors we chose to infuse it in. We’d finally created a product we could be proud of, but it took a lot of failure to get there.

Once our recipe was finished, we were able to concentrate more on Boba Guys from a brand standpoint. That’s where we’ll pick on Wednesday—see you then!

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet