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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!

Articles
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

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The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

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In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

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via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

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Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

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