Your Innovation Podcast. This is the 20th episode of the Driving Eureka! Podcast. Segment 1: What happened to telling the whole truth; Segment 2:The Power of telling the TRUTH about HOW your innovation is able to do what you promise; Segment 3: Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy. Subscribe to learn how to Find Filter and Fast Track Big Ideas.
The Driving Eureka! Podcast – Episode #20
This Weeks Theme is Truth
When is Lying . . . Lying.
Marketing has become Less Truthful
Meaningfully Unique Brings Truth
Dishonesty has New Looks to a Consumer
Internet Helps and Hurts
ReviewsCan Help Kill a Product
Reviews are Even Becoming Dishonest
You Must be Able to Explain “Why” the Product or Service is Better
Reputation Will Kill Ability to Go Back to the Producer
Start by Being Honest with Yourself
Technology can Provide Feedback – But Honesty Starts with You
Confront the Truth
The Driving Eureka! Book Segment
Problem Promise Proof in Action with Focus on Proof
Proof Matters – It Closes the Sale
Types of Proof
Need to Know Why You are Able to Win
Use Analogies and Not Give Secrets
Must Do Something that is Really Unique
Made in America is Not a Reason
Testimonial on Innovation Engineering
Industry Needs Creativity
Are You a Commodity or an Innovation Leader – Pick One
80% of Products and Services Fail Because the Products are Fake
Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy
The Importance of Honesty
3 Ways to Craft Whisk(e)y
70% of Taste is in the Aging
Brain Brew Uses Time Compression and are Transparent
The Spirits Industry Drives You to Be the Same
We are Different and Proud of It
Problem Promise and Proof in Whsik(e)y
You Can Improve the Existing Product or from Scratch
Must Know the Purpose of the Product
The Craft Cocktail Recipe – The Rusty Nail
History of Rusty Nail
Next Explosion in Whisk(e)y
Originally Recipes and Made from Scratch is the Future
The Secret App
Tripp: [00:00:01] Welcome to the Driving Eureka! podcast where we share ideas and advice for helping you find filter and. Fast Track Big Ideas. Hi I’m Tripp battle advisor to global organizations on the Deming philosophy and host of the Deming Institute podcast.
Doug: [00:00:23] And I’m Doug Hall inventor speaker teacher and whiskey maker. I’m also the founder of the Eureka ranch and author of the driving Eureka book.
Tripp: [00:00:32] This is the Driving Eureka! podcast and this week we’re going to be talking about truth. But just a note for listeners that are new you will find that these podcast episodes are related to Doug Hall’s newsletter that you can go to Doug Hall dot com and under the menu hit newsletters you can sign up for to read them. And so I wanted to give that for any new listeners that we have. So our theme this week Doug is truth. All three segments will cover off truth and in the first segment you talk about what happened to telling the whole truth.
Doug: [00:01:18] Yeah and and Tripp I would I would be under a rock if I didn’t say that part of the influence for this week’s theme isn’t the news that faces the country today as we have these debates about. Did someone tell the truth or not the truth. And are people lying or not lying and and and then the justification of well that’s how it’s always done. And all this and it just hit me that my great grandmother Hazel my grandmother rather Hazel hall up in North Freiburg Maine should have said that’s a lie. You know there wouldn’t have been any you know you were either telling the truth or not.
Doug: [00:02:03] And somehow with regards to our marketing with regards to our products there has become an acceptance that you can take a shortcut and maybe not if you’re just because you didn’t. You don’t have to actually tell people everything and and that it’s OK if they assume something other than what it really is then it’s OK. And it just it’s just got me irritated because I talk to people inside companies I talk to people who go to companies and oftentimes what I hear them talk about is they’re disengaged because they don’t feel there is integrity to the work they’re doing that the product is being cheapened that the customer is being hoodwinked and when we aren’t grounded in doing the right things in the right way it becomes an energy suck it just it just sucks the energy out of our life where when we are grounded in the real and in the genuine and things that are meaningful or that’s that’s why I always use meaningfully unique it’s meaningful.
Doug: [00:03:19] This is truly different. That gives us a different level of energy and I think we’ve I I’m going to be total I’m a crotchety old man now. We need to get back to the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so.
Tripp: [00:03:36] So I see this play out and quite a few different ways. Right. Just on a. Forget the politics. But in as far as products and services and you know historically there’s there’s you can almost say that there’s always been a problem to a certain to a certain degree.
Tripp: [00:03:54] So for instance the things I see today are and I’m not going to pick a particular product you know name a brand but but a product that you used to get it and it used to come in the 16 ounce tub and now it’s the 14 and a half out stub. You know it’s been cut back. And to me the price hasn’t changed a bit and it’s kind of a yeah in this kind of goes back to maybe the thing we talked about in Episode 17 would around integrity you know products it just seems like there’s a lot of that type of slashing in order to get to profit. Yeah. Yeah I think you you said it well in the newsletter that things like false promises the things that when you get a product you’re expecting it. I bought one of these visor things with the shade and you know supposed to help me with my nighttime vision. I didn’t really I wasn’t that impressed. That’s right. I purchased it it didn’t really live up to what I had expected it to do.
Doug: [00:04:56] Interestingly the Internet has is both helping and hurting in this case in the short term it hurts. I mean I bought a lightbox thing from one of the online purveyors. I’m not going to give endorsement by names. And the thing came and I’d read the description and it appeared like it was a brand new product. So there were only a few reviews I got the product and it just plain didn’t work it didn’t work it just didn’t work. So I set it back and they were good about it. You know they took it back but you know you can get it. You can be life instantly now.
Doug: [00:05:37] Now the good news is as long term reviews are gonna kill that thing and it’s going to go away. But in the short term you just don’t know and somebody somebody told me that when you’re using air B and B that never take an Air B and B place unless they have a lot of reviews because a few reviews could be just their friends and so you got to get to somebody that has a lot of reviews. That’s that’s your test of an Air B and B if it’s a place to go to is do they have a lot of reviews and so long term the Internet helps us. But in the short term you see some IT LOOK GREAT looked like an awesome look like exactly what I wanted and it was garbage.
Tripp: [00:06:16] You know it’s interesting. I just read an article yesterday about now even on reviews you can purchase 10000 positive reviews for like a hundred and sixty eight dollars.
Doug: [00:06:33] And it’s a massive problem. I have a friend who’s in hospitality with hotels and he says it’s a massive problem in that literally competitors will come stay at your hotel and write bad reviews and it’s verified because they stayed there. Mm hmm. I mean it’s just it’s just you know so it can be a help but it can be a hindrance. The thing is is that we’ve just got to have. I mean we’ve got to just when people are not being honest we have to call them on it. And and we have to call ourselves on it when we’re tempted to do something and it’s like 2:00 this morning just just before we recorded this I was having a meeting with some folks. It’s a local distiller who’s interested in working with us with brain brew some whisky. And we were talking about the situation and I said that while our products can win and I could explain exactly why that was which we’ll talk about proof in a minute but I could explain why. And as opposed to trust me it’s better you know cause when you’re doing something different truly different than other people are doing then you can get a different outcome but if you’re doing the same old stuff as everybody else then it’s just marketing puffery and eventually you’re gonna get caught. It’s the reason why I love design that’s functional but most design to me is a facade to take the same old crap and make you think it’s better. And in that case there I think design serves a disservice because after you get by the pretty new shell you find it’s just as crappy as anybody else. And people will try to use design the cover flaws in the fundamental performance of the service or the product or whatever it is you’re doing guy.
Tripp: [00:08:28] And this gets I mean there are so many areas that require some type of truth because to be be honest the consumer isn’t going to know. I mean so they have to take kind of a leap of faith associated with the service that they’re getting.
Tripp: [00:08:45] You know when I have my HVAC guy come in I have no idea. I don’t really know whether he’s doing the right thing or not. I know a little bit more because now I’ve worked with a few over the years but there is a degree of trust that you have to have. There are certain companies now that I won’t work with just because I know how they operate. And there is a lot of things that drive that so so.
Doug: [00:09:13] So this also has to do with ourselves. Telling the whole truth to ourselves. I have been this year for some reason you know how January comes up and we get our new year’s resolutions. This year I made the same resolution you made for the last 30 years which was to get healthier and for reasons because I married up with my wife almost 40 years ago. She. She’s got us healthier I mean and I’m a lot healthier and losing weight. And I like that stuff. But part of what it required was being absolutely honest with myself.
Doug: [00:09:58] And the first thing was exercise the number how much exercise just doing you know yeah you can go and be on a treadmill and be a warm body there or you can be on the treadmill and actually sweat. It’s a different thing. And what I have found is this Apple Watch with its measurement of active calories how many calories you’re burning and thanks to the folks at Canyon Ranch we’ve done the body pod thing and figured out what my resting metabolic rate was and how much I had to do and calories I know every day how much I have to move to hit the goals that I’ve set and I don’t hate it all the time but I’m probably hitting it at least 80 percent maybe not 90 percent. Probably. I could look it up on the app but that gives me makes me confront reality. Have I actually move because what I found when I started to measure it is I thought I was doing it because I’d go over and exercise it at the ranch I live next door but then I’d sit and work on the computer all day long get up have dinner then sit and read a book or watch TV and at the end of the day you know I saw a corpse has less now active calories but I’m not fine.
Doug: [00:11:23] You know and then you look at it you go hey oh how do you get fat yet did you consume more than you did because you weren’t doing anything. And so having that the truth that measurement makes me confront the truth and be honest with myself am doing and then on the other side counting calories which I’m not as good at.
Doug: [00:11:44] But she’s articulate at it so that helps me. But you know if you want to get something done you set some goals what you got to do and you but you got to be honest with yourself you can’t be oh well if I work a little harder it’ll do it. That’s not going to happen. That’s not going to happen. And and so this truth it’s important not only externally what we do but we’re honest with ourselves who are we where are we going and what are we going to do about it. You know you don’t set up to become a great athlete and just you know pray for a miracle you set some goals you confront the reality of OK this is how fast I am. Now this so fast I have to do if I’m going to be able to qualify for X marathon or whatever race or whatever it is and you confront the reality well in our life we’ve got to be honest with ourselves and in our business and you know what happens when you’re honest. As I just said when you’re honest with yourself when you’re honest with others you have a sense of integrity and you have a new energy you have you have a new energy as to what it is because otherwise when you’re lying to yourself you just it just sucks the life out of you.
Tripp: [00:13:09] It’s time now for the Driving Eureka! book segment with author and inventor Doug Hall. Well what’s what’s. Now apply this. Then let’s let’s go to the Driving Eureka! book segment and talk about how do we take this gap between what people are expecting they’re getting and how do we how do we go about with our products and services and begin to bring truth to it.
Doug: [00:13:43] So in the in our innovation engineering courses and in the Driving Eureka! book we talk about communicate and we just quickly simplify its customer problem promise proof here’s your customer. What’s the problem they have. What’s our promise to address their problem. And then what’s the proof that we can deliver on the promise to solve their problem. And so this week I want to talk about proof because proof is where the rubber meets the road. This is what is it. What is the innovation that we’re doing. And how does it make the promise possible. And this is where you’ve got to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Why are you able to do it. And if you say we’re better OK how much better and why are you better. Well because we care more. That’s crap. No what are you doing. Do your people have more training. Do they have better tools. Do you use better quality raw materials. Do you have an invention that enables you to do something amazing. What is it that makes it possible for you to do something remarkable and what the data shows tracking called the Darwin 2000 where we tracked actual innovations in the marketplace is when you have a low amount of proof versus a high amount of proof. When you have high proof. It literally doubles your odds of success in the marketplace that is still being in business after three to five years.
Doug: [00:15:22] And so proof really does matter because the you know the problem and the promise they get my attention what proof does is it closes the sale when I just met with some folks and I went through and I explained time compression finishing and how we do it that was all nice and I explained technically why we were able to do it. That was proof and then I said but don’t take my word for it taste them. And they went through and taste this. Oh my God this is amazing. I’ve never had whiskey like this. That’s it. And it’s proof that it actually really does work. Okay. Not just wave my hands at it but real proof.
Tripp: [00:16:05] Okay. So when you say I and it just because these terms are a little nebulous to me and when you say high proof versus medium proof versus low proof how would I distinguish what’s a high proof type of thing versus the other levels or how do you know we’ve got a bunch.
Doug: [00:16:21] Well I mean we we have a bunch of different rating things that we used to do that. But a way to think about it is is how credible is it how believable is it does it. And they didn’t really explain how it works. They can’t explain but I got some questions. That’s truth beyond a reasonable doubt. I think they probably can really do it.
Tripp: [00:16:45] Ok. So. So it’s in essence so going back to some of the things that you’ve used before for instance compared comparison testing those types of things those are parts of what you would be comprised in proof.
Doug: [00:17:00] It could be but I’d rather have that. OK. It tastes better than this as the promise. And the reason it tastes better is we use Mongolian sassafras wood which gives us an elegance I’m just making something out okay. Yeah yeah. You know that. Why are you able to win. I want to know why you can win so you’re products better. That’s fine. Why is it better. What are you doing that no one else is doing.
Tripp: [00:17:28] I mean it almost leads my at least my mind to I’m giving away secrets type of thing that I’m.
Doug: [00:17:36] Well I mean it. I mean if there is a trade secret then you don’t say it but the fundamental thing is is there’s usually an analogy that you can use to make that come to come to life so for instance with our whisky stuff the way we explain to them is we replicate seasons a barrel aging by applying heat and pressure up and down just like the barrels go through over time. Only we do it very quickly. Okay. I haven’t technically explained to you my pressure settings and my ramp up curves in my integration but I’ve given you I’ve told you the truth about how we’re able to do it and that helps. Then
Tripp: [00:18:11] I guess yeah. From mine standpoint you’ve got something that is meaningfully unique. If you’ve got something that that’s that’s better than what’s in the marketplace and also knowing your system that that’s the aim of the whole thing anyway.
Doug: [00:18:27] That’s right. I’ll tell you you cannot be meaningfully unique unless you’re doing something different. You can’t do the same old crap as everybody else and be meaningfully unique. No but that’s just flimflam game. You have to be doing something different. My question to people always is what are you doing different than anybody else. What do you do that no one else does. No that’s about the same. I said OK you’re just a commodity. Well no no no. We are made in America where we’re care we customers number one.
Doug: [00:18:53] I said that’s all crap. I mean that’s just it. That’s not the difference. That’s not the difference. It’s not a difference this matters made in America is great. If your quality is twice as good as the stuff that comes from China. Well actually the China stuff is pretty much about as good as us. Okay. So it doesn’t matter what are you doing that’s different. What makes you different. And if you’re not change it because when you know you’re selling the same old crap as everybody else but just for a higher price it sucks the life out of you you don’t get excited to get up in the morning to let’s do the same crap as everybody else and overcharge people for it I know I know I’m a ranting old man.
Tripp: [00:19:31] No no no.
Doug: [00:19:32] That’s that’s the problem we got that’s why everything fails. We have an epidemic of stupidity when it comes to the world of innovation. I mean with it with an 85 percent failure rate we should just blow up the system and instead people get to know we’re doing OK. We just need to get a little bit better. No. Eighty five percent failure rate. Imagine if you had an eighty five percent chance your car would start would you be happy with it. No that’s where it used to be in the 60s.
Tripp: [00:20:03] Really.
Doug: [00:20:03] The fact of the matter is today we’ve got to get smarter in the way you do that if you do stuff that makes a difference. That’s why are you reconvening team when we were pushing people. People just got tripped. I just read a note I read a note. Let me see if I can find it. I read a note from a company that we’re working with I’m not going to give the name. I’m not going to give the name of who who the corporation is but one of the people just completed the Bluebelt. OK OK. And they just completed their Bluebelt.
Tripp: [00:20:33] So relatively new.
Doug: [00:20:35] Yeah. They just did this whole thing. They’ve been with the company for 20 years. They said I participated in many programs around New Product Development. They they were not dynamic or holistic in their approach. And they said with each passing year less and less of our offerings are truly new or offered a significant amount of value. They were cannibalizing on existing it’s obvious things. And while we’ve grown it’s hard to say that any of our stuff was truly really unique this time for the first time is the only approach that addresses the fact that we need to do something that makes a real difference in our customers lives and the speed with which they have new ideas that come to. Direct quote the speed with which new ideas have come to life and have been refined into workable concepts is nothing short of amazing. I mean that’s somebody that’s been sitting there in the treadmill and we’re doing a trite tiny tweak to make a commotion in the marketplace and it just doesn’t matter. And now they’re saying wait a minute we can’t do something that makes a difference. We can do something that makes a difference.
Tripp: [00:21:47] You know this follows a lot of what Dr. Deming did teach as far as he would say there’s certain manufacturing that’s just gone from the US that we need to be able to manage with our brains. And so far the philosophy has been of when and I’m sure it’s not limited just to American management but management in general is just looking for the cheapest price. Where can I move my labor to to in order to do it more cheaply and they’re totally missing us as far as being able to understand the well. In this case the promise of what you bring in innovation with Innovation Engineering system and being able to actually have a method to not just compete on price but compete on because you have something better that that people want to buy. I think I think it’s a I don’t wanna get that point loss because from a well.
Doug: [00:22:51] You got to decide right you’ve got to decide are you going to be the pork belly business. Maybe the low cost producer or you’re going to sell bait because you offer something that they can’t get anywhere else.
Doug: [00:23:02] And once a lot more profitable the other like three times more profitable and that’s a choice and there’s a place for people that sell commodities.
Doug: [00:23:10] That’s the market for that but there is also a market and the people that make money are the ones that add value. And so that’s a strategic choice. If you’ve made a strategic choice to be cheap then don’t whine about the fact that you have tight margins that you made that that’s a choice. The market doesn’t create commodities. Leadership decides to be commodities. It’s a leadership decision not a market decision.
Tripp: [00:23:35] Yeah. Yeah and there’s one other thing you had in here that kind of caught my eye too in your in your newsletter which was you say sadly analysis finds that only 20 percent of concepts offer product or service proof. That leaves 80 percent that don’t. Is it a coincidence that just over 80 percent of all new products and services fail.
Doug: [00:23:58] And so to be clear it’s not is that it’s that they didn’t put the words in the reason they didn’t put the words in it because there’s nothing there. It’s a fake. It’s not a real innovation. It’s just marketing mumbo jumbo. It’s just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic to use the analogy. That’s it. And when you have something that’s really remarkable you tell people about it. And when you don’t. What we find is pretty much don’t have anything.
Tripp: [00:24:33] Ok. Very good. Well let’s move to the brain brew whiskey Academy. This is the brain brew whiskey Academy podcast where we will take you behind the scenes so you can see what it takes to build a whiskey distillery business. Eureka ranch team led by Doug Hall. Are Creating a craft Whiskey Company. With. Patented technology like this never been done before
Tripp: [00:25:02] The importance of honesty.
Doug: [00:25:06] Okay. So when it comes to crafting whiskey there are many methods you can grow the grain to still mature with wood blend in bottle. OK so it’s grain to glass or you can buy commercial grains mature with wood blend bottle OK or you can buy raw spirit mature with wood blend and bottle all three can do it. But there’s a different cost and time requirement and our choice is the third because the Ross spirit is only 5 percent of what matters.
Doug: [00:25:49] 70 percent is the wood. Twenty five percent is is what grains you pick to use in your whiskey. And so the value add is not in the in the in the distilling the value add is an aging because that’s where all the flavor comes from. Now I know people like that but that’s just our choice. You can do whatever you want.
Doug: [00:26:11] That’s what matters. The thing that is most important is what does your whiskey taste like. And however you do it as fine but the other thing is the then being honest and straightforward in your communications because when you’re transparent you build trust. So we’re very clear on our labels that we use time compression to finish our products and that’s what we do. And we explain how works. That that’s it. That’s what we do. And we don’t hide it. It’s on the front label it’s on the back label we’re very honest about it.
Doug: [00:26:43] And in fact we’re proud that we do that. We’re proud of it because so much of the flavor come in color of whiskey comes from the wood. We’re focusing on the place that matters to you our customers to give you the best taste experience and give a unique to taste experience. In fact time compression is how we do it. That is the proof to do it. Now you’re dealing with a category that classically has no proof. It’s legend and lore instead of real proof. In other words if you follow the bourbon rules exactly your bourbon because the rules are so tight it’s gonna be like every other person’s bourbon. I mean it’s gonna have a little bit of variation on is it rye or wheat. The second ingredient but fun and the temperatures are where you are when you’re doing it. But fundamentally it’s all gonna be basically about the same. And so congratulations you’ve just gone through a process that allows you to make a product that’s just about the same as the big guys but they cost you a lot more money than it costs the Giants to make whiskey. We’re in our case if I use 200 year wood if I if I mix Japanese wood with European oak if I start to use maple I start to use cherry. If I change the pressure cycles so replicate the seasons of different parts of the world I can make totally unique tastes and I can craft things where the taste is totally different. So the key here is is to be honest. And when we do something different like what we’re doing with time compression don’t hide it celebrate it.
Doug: [00:28:18] You say Yeah but people aren’t like that because you’re different. I go Well the only reason they should like me is because I’m different. You know I mean it’s like a circular logic. People say well I don’t want to tell me what we’re doing. Oh that’s right. So here try my whiskey. It’s the same crap as everybody else. Well that’s not going to sell much you know. And so we like to celebrate it. And so just tell people what you doing. Tell them what it is.
Tripp: [00:28:43] So Doug if we if you take the how you break things out you know and we would use the term Yellow Card but as you fill out your idea and you’re going through and you have your customer your problem your promise and your proof what would you have for each of those for the brain brew. Well how would you define the customer and then and going all the way down through problem promise and proof.
Doug: [00:29:11] Well it depends. I mean 18 percent drink whiskey. So if it was one of my products that was made for people that are whiskey drinkers would be one thing if it was Scotch drinkers or nothing if it was non drinkers it would be a different one. OK. Let’s take let’s take the 82 percent. OK. OK. Which would be our kilowatt product. Eighty two percent of the population don’t drink whiskey in the last year in America. That’s the facts. That’s the data. Big big surveys show this. And so the problem is is that you. You like spirits but you don’t like whiskey because it can have a harsh and it has a bite to it. What we’ve got is with our Keelboat product we’ve got an easy drinking product that tastes great over that’s been made to be drank over the rocks and it makes cocktails that won’t have any speed bump in them. So when you taste it you chase the smooth thing and as you may you may not know for the five top cocktails in the world the whiskey cocktails because they have more flavor than you get with a vodka. The reason we’re able to do this is because we use a four grain product and we’ve optimized it so to smooth it and our time compression approach smooths it off. So to give you the taste of a older whiskey but for the price at a reasonable price and that’s what we’ve got. And. And so you’re going to get a product that won’t have a speed bump in your cocktail unit tasting all this the bourbon was fine except for one taste of the Bourbon. In our case it fuses together to become one.
Tripp: [00:30:46] Okay. So so as you see what I’m hearing is as you built these products you had a specific customer problem promised proof in mind for your kill though versus your tall stacks versus.
Doug: [00:31:00] Actually well actually we weren’t that smart. Oh we made the products. OK. And then we ran quantitative testing and we looked at the demographics and psycho graphics because we can do the data like really quick and cheap. We looked we looked at the data and then from the data we figured out who they appeal to. And then we optimized it for that group of people. So ours is not a matter of pontificating and then telling them what they do. Our wishes are of the people and by the people. I I’ve been doing this business so long that I’ve learned that especially when I do things that are new and different I don’t know what’s going to happen. And so I believe in taking it out and getting quantitative data looking at the people who are doing it and then finding out basically kind of what neighborhood of people like this. And sometimes there’s none or there’s not a big enough thing so we kill it. But I find a group that people like and then I optimize it for that group of people. So each of our products is different if you like smoky food and cigars you’re gonna like Tall Stacks. If you’re somebody that’s a big whiskey forward you like the big whiskey cocktails the Manhattans and that guy stuff then you’re gonna like our Deckhand product. If you’re more of a connoisseur of whiskey and you like to drink it over ice or neat than our Paddle Wheel with two hundred wood is absolutely going to be your product that’s someone you’re gonna do. And if you’re new to whiskey and you’ve never had it before then you’re gonna like our Cuba product because it’s the super easy drinking no stress no bite no burn product. And so our four core products each appeal to a very different customer segment.
Tripp: [00:32:41] So would it be fair just just from some of our previous conversations that the kill Bo then because you’re going after the 82 percent is more likely to and you know you mentioned dipping on the rocks but we also talked about expanding the market you’re talking about that 82 percent that really don’t drink whiskey that they’re more functionally operating towards a cocktail.
Doug: [00:33:07] Yeah it’s definitely over half of whiskey and America’s drinking cocktails are mixed. So yes it’s celebrating. And this many whiskey companies who you know they really don’t they. Token cocktails they don’t celebrate them in this case here we optimized the product to make spectacular cocktails. And I’ll I’ll go head to head with anybody on a cocktail with it amongst a mass audience. Now if it’s a hardcore whiskey person I’m going to use one of my other whiskeys for it.
Doug: [00:33:36] The smoked or the or the the Deckhand because they are bigger whiskey tastes but amongst the masses that’s what it’s made for. There’s a purpose. There’s a real purpose. So to me whenever you have a line of products you’ve got to be able tell me why that product is in the line. If you can’t justify why it’s in the line then don’t just don’t do it for the sake of doing it. You’re just creating a noise.
Tripp: [00:33:59] Okay so. So the interesting part I learned here is you kind of started with the whiskey and then and maybe this goes back to the development piece when you were talking about developing it whether it’s product services the same thing with whiskey that you’re kind of in the development process you continually are learning and and you know modifying the product associated with people steering you in different directions in association with what happens in that development process.
Doug: [00:34:30] Yeah I’m a I you can start from an idea or you can start from a product you’re going to start from a package. I like it when I start from an idea. Sometimes it’s just not possible to make the product.
Doug: [00:34:49] So my bias and let’s say that you can’t my bias is figure out a cool product that’s meaningful unique and then figure out how to market it. And usually if you can find a meaningful unique product you can find a way to sell it not always this time if you make it meaningfully product but there’s no way to sell it. But the number of times that you fail because you have an idea but you can’t physically do it you can’t make the whiskey make that you can’t create that that’s much greater. And so I like to start from meaningful unique products and build them out it’s much faster process for doing it in my mind. But then again I can make whiskey you know very quickly I can do 72 cycles in seven days. And so I have a system to do it. If your product development process is a very slow one then that’s not the case you know. So again it’s just different strokes for different folks depending on where you are.
Tripp: [00:35:41] Okay. All right well let’s move to the craft cocktail recipe says Great Scott. Rusty Nail not had the rusty nail before. I like the rusty now.
Doug: [00:35:52] So yeah. Okay so this is the rusty nail that’s the classic from Scotland the Rat Pack in the 1960s. Drambuie liqueur from the Isle of Skye. Bonnie Prince Charlie the legend made it so it’s a it’s a it’s a whiskey liqueur and classically you would put that together with a couple of ounces of whiskey or whatever type you want. And about a half ounce of DRAM booty and you’d build it over ice and stir it. OK Classic in our case a great Scot is named in honor of Scott McCauley a dear dear friend who’s led the College of piping and Celtic performing arts of Canada and who sadly passed away. He was right. He was not the founder but he was the spiritual founder of the College of piping which I’m very involved in and just a dear friend and so I named this one after him where what we do is we use our tall stacks bourbon which is a smoked product a three wood smoked product hickory cherry and apple.
Doug: [00:37:05] And it just creates this wonderful smoke cloud in fact as I’m talking about it I’m thinking tonight that’s what they’re going to have tonight. I think that’s that’s that’s my cocktail tonight I think. And it’s just because you get the sweet of the Drambuie and you get the smoke and so you get this sweet smoke combination which is just boom. I mean it just takes your mind to a different place because it’s taken in in another world.
Tripp: [00:37:33] Sounds strong.
Doug: [00:37:37] It is. It is a whiskey forward. It is not for a newbie. Right. Okay. Because it is. I mean there is some sweetness to it so it tones it down the drain. Is pretty sweet so but it is it is not for a newbie.
Tripp: [00:37:51] Okay. You know there’s a couple couple of things you’ve talked about you’ve talked about different riffs and we’ve talked about you know starting with with an add an original recipe and then kind of going from there. Yeah I threw out on some of these social media sites on Facebook. I just said you know Hey what what do you what do you kind of mixed drinks do you have or cocktails Do you have with your whiskey. And it’s pretty much everybody kind of has the same thing and one person hasn’t mentioned a Sazerac but most of the other people said an old fashioned or a Manhattan. Those seem to be the the ones that are I you know on their people’s minds anyway that they they find to be their favorites are there. I mean I also then because of some of the things that we’ve talked about during our episodes of different drink so I for the I can’t remember a probably going to mismatch these but for instance I remember there were some relationship I think between the Manhattan and the Boulevard. So I sat and I asked people I said you know have you tried to Boulevard you know so different people I got different people out there at least trying different things you know from that standpoint.
Doug: [00:39:02] Well we are the it’s the next explosion in alcoholic beverages. I believe there’s gonna be two. One is going to be low out low to no alcohol is definitely coming and we’re working in that space and it’s gonna be huge but it’s all in it and it’s gonna be cocktails and but not cocktails out of a jug of high fructose corn syrup sweet and citrus junk. But the craft world is fresh juices.
Doug: [00:39:38] I was amazed I went I was in New York recently for know thing with innovation engineering and went to see a show and I went into a Anthony Bourdain dive plus he’s passed away but but this was like I tried to find a fancy cocktail bar near Times Square and I couldn’t find anything that was worthwhile.
Doug: [00:39:59] So I went into it basically a Cuban dive. I mean it was not shall we say it was a more of a working man’s place not a high society place. And and I ordered the Hemingway which we’ve talked about because it was Cuban and they had Hemingway on it and I thought and I figured I was gonna get myself you know a sugar sweet thing done and damned if the guy didn’t literally right in front of me so fresh squeezed the juices brings me the cocktail and I said Man that is amazing. I can’t believe it. He says well you know I have a lot of pride in what I do. And this is the bartender and I thought tab that’s awesome. You know he’s not in a hot toddy place the drinks are not stupid prices but he is a person and supported clearly by the owner that they’re going to do honest work and do it.
Doug: [00:40:57] And the more we get that the more the everyday hotel bar the restaurants the chains make a commitment to doing real stuff. We’re gonna see an explosion in cocktails our cocktail experience is just ridiculous. I just think it’s just going to be the next wave. That’s every hour where we’re opening up over in London and everybody over there is talking it’s gonna be cocktails cocktails and cocktails. So so hopefully we’ll open this up. And while I love the Manhattan and I love old fashioned and they’re they’re great cocktails.
Doug: [00:41:33] There’s just so much more you can do so much more you can do.
Tripp: [00:41:37] Will be interesting to see and maybe that’s not the market here but how do you how can you move people off of those into things like the Boulevard or even new drinks that are out there. Do you have you kind of written off the people are closer to our age and you’re talking about the people that are the millennials that are coming up is that that kind of the focus.
Doug: [00:41:58] No actually I think both. No no no. The older people are looking for something new. They’re looking for something different. I grew up as a percentage of them. And and there are you know there are drinks out there that you can turn around and do the prop. Some of them have been trashed because of you know the quality that was done you know in many cases what’s happened to the Whiskey Sour is is that bad bad sour mix as opposed to making Phillips one where we use lime lemon and orange juice as well as the zest from the fruit as we’re making it. And you know we start to make it that way without with a one to one simple syrup not a two to one. In other words one part sugar one part water and then using three quarters of a cup of juice you’re not getting that sticky sweet the zest gives you freshness you taste that and it’s an amazing drink. Mm hmm. And so in some cases you got to do that but in other cases you know it’s so you like an old fashioned.
Doug: [00:43:00] That’s cool. Well I give you a Gold Rush and instead of using you know a sugar cube I’m using honey water instead of using orange I’m using lemon juice. So it’s a cousin to the old fashioned but the honey gives it some depth. The lemon juice gives it a brightness to it and it’s it’s not scary to you it’s it’s a variation on it. And then once you learn that I show you. Okay well you can do a riff do you want to turn around use pineapple juice instead. And we call it a risky whiskey.
Doug: [00:43:38] So now I’ve used honey water and pineapple and suddenly we got people becoming cocktail chefs who can make their own stuff as opposed to focused on the cookbook.
Tripp: [00:43:50] That’s interesting. I could be curious as you get deeper into the specialty with some of these new products that you have as you go into bars because you’ve talked quite a bit about you know sometimes you go in a bar and you see the stuff in the mixes and those types of things and then there’s the guy like you you just talked about you know from where from the Cuba restaurant you know that that was you know really into a craft cocktail you know really wanted to make something special. I’m curious if the the Doug part of you is going to be I’m only going to sell if they go to bars if they have the right you know bartender or the right attitude or something is that is that in your mind. I don’t know.
Doug: [00:44:33] Yes it has. OK. As it has we have it figured that out yet. But but will encourage them with positiveness with apps that point people to it. So you ready for this. OK. This is the first time we’ve announced this. This is a secret so don’t tell anybody okay. The stuff that gets me in trouble. Okay.
Doug: [00:44:53] So so recently we did we had a whole bunch of people taste a stupid number of cocktails and answer a ridiculous number of questions on what kind of foods and beverages they liked. OK. You like smoked food Hot and spicy food sweet versus our salty verse are all kinds of questions like and then the you know the ranch has some like ridiculous super brains for a computer program and data analysis. Which is why innovation in theory has all these artificial intelligence apps that makes you smarter than you are.
Doug: [00:45:24] Which I always need you know because it helps me. Well Gregg has built and we’ve got a rough prototype and he’s got also got a mischievous sense of humor. Rob comes a question. And you know this apps where you swipe right and you swipe left. Oh yeah. Yeah well you swipe right and you swipe left whether you like that thing or not. And after you do the swiping it literally the app then brings up a customized cocktail just for you.
Tripp: [00:45:53] Oh really.
Doug: [00:45:54] So it takes you down through to find the cocktail that you would most like. I’ll send you a link to that. I actually can’t give you the demo to it because he’s he’s got it on the thing but and and so and it doesn’t just make a cocktail. It makes your cocktail. That’s cool. It will adjust the amount of alcohol. It will adjust. What do you have fears to the thing. It adjusts which whiskey you should use. And so it’s literally creating your own cocktail recipe. And so we think this is gonna be pretty cool. Yeah. So what will happen is people will be able to do the app and it will tell them which bars in the city have cocktails that match their taste and what the name of the cocktail is.
Tripp: [00:46:47] Well you’re only going to be able to do that for Cincinnati right.
Doug: [00:46:50] And then we’ll do it in every other city with our partners.
Tripp: [00:46:53] Okay. I got it. All right. Well that’s cool. Yeah. That’ll be that’ll be something.
Doug: [00:46:59] That’s stupidly cool. Yeah. Yeah.
Tripp: [00:47:02] That that that’s taking your research and actually making it applicable to you know that the where the rubber meets the road place. So that now that’s that’s great. Now I can’t wait. So when will we see this thing you know more in the public eye.
Doug: [00:47:20] I have no idea when it sort of bizarrely. This is my answer is is when it’s right. OK. You know when it works out and I don’t you know I’m in this business for the long term. So unlike stupid people who just say well you have to ship it may 1st whether it’s ready or not ship it and then you ship something crappy when we feel good enough about it and the testing shows. I mean because right now some of the strains are really really good at picking people. The cocktail some of them are not because it’s like this whole algorithm they go through. And so we have to do some more optimization on it to get there. But when we’ve got it so that it’s working more times than not and giving added value to people then we’ll ship it. So when we ship it it works and we don’t ship crap so we don’t ship bad products. We don’t ship bad software. It has to work.
Tripp: [00:48:13] So cool. All right. Well bringing honesty to the Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy or the importance of it. Any final comments on it.
Doug: [00:48:25] Yeah. So this I think of Hazel Hall folks. Don’t tell me it’s mostly true. Don’t tell me it’s kind of true. Tell me the truth the whole truth. Be honest with yourself. Be honest with those you work with. Be honest with your customers and when you do that you’re going to have boundless energy and but as Ben Franklin said it’s easier to suppress the first desire than all those that follow it. The minute you start to shade it a little bit kind of sort of it’s OK then the next thing you know you’re just selling crap and nobody needs crap.
Doug: [00:49:12] Let’s do great things. It’s a good way to end that
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