What I Learned As An Oompa Loompa

Interesting post from Elaine Wherry discussing her time helping her husband get a chocolates business up and running.

My husband, Todd, and his co-founder, Cam, had spent the last few years building chocolate machines and scouting the world for great cocoa beans in an effort to open a micro-batchchocolate factory in San Francisco’s Mission District. The construction crew finished converting the brick automotive garage to a food-safe bean-to-bar workshop and it was time to figure out the nitty gritty details like moving, merchandising, and designing the café & retail space. Todd needed all the help he could get and I was happy to pitch in during those critical months. Now that I’ve come up for air and returned to tech projects, I’ve had time to reflect on what I learned from brick-and-mortar operations:

What follows are her lessons learned. In short, why she won’t complain about writing code ever again.

I particularly liked lesson #6:

With Meebo, our business model went something like this: we built a product that people like. We monetized a fraction of those eyeballs with brand advertising. We tracked the percentage of users who clicked an ad and logged their engagement times. However, since correlating brand advertising with bottom line revenue is nearly impossible online, we also monitored ad partnership renewals. If all of those metrics were healthy, we were happy. (~60 words)

At Dandelion Chocolate, the business model is: we make and sell chocolate. (5 words)

It’s so much easier to build a sustainable organization around a simple revenue model. There are no tensions between ad partners, distribution sites, engineering, and sales teams. There are fewer points of failure. Instead, everyone is aligned towards a simple goal: make something people want.

Yeah… our best models do tend to get a little convoluted here in tech world.

2 thoughts on “What I Learned As An Oompa Loompa

  1. First, this is a great new look for your blog! Second, I love the story. We share a passion and huge respect for the owners of small businesses. You’ve already had a huge impact on them via Infinity. I see it as grounded in your ability to define a clear-cut problem of the kind they face every day and then match up a great solution to it. May your business model journey be equally straight-forward!! Cheers and thanks for another great post. LaVonne

    • Thanks, LaVonne. I doubt it will be but we can always try! (And thanks regarding the blog. The old one was getting boring.)

      On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 11:15 AM, Elia Insider

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