tm Productivity Mental Game Theory Specs4US PVT

By pjain      Published May 10, 2020, 1:58 a.m. in blog Lambda7   

Lessons - Alternative, Insider, Mental Game

Productivity Cases

Jim Koch left a comfortable consulting job at BCG after seven years in 1984 to start a brewer.

  1. Have a Thick Skin.

    At the beginning he was "a beer-delivery guy coming into the back of a restaurant and getting treated like crap". But with an entrepreneurial childhood mowing lawns, etc. "it did not bother me".

  2. Build on Insider Insights, Family Secret Sauce.

    His dad was a brewmaster with official training from brewmaster school, beer was part of my life forever, and he had his first beer at 4. Actually family insight forewarned him - his dad told "terrible idea" to enter beer industry. His dad knew of the terrible competitive power of Bud, Miller and Coors mega franchises. It seemed ridiculous to think that he could ever make an impression in a market dominated by the likes of Budweiser and Heineken.

  3. Have a Great Product with Great Profit Margins

    Started with a family lager recipe he started with "Boston Lager". I am trying to make something better. Richer, more flavorful, higher quality, and I'm gonna charge twice the money.

  4. BE DIFFERENT. Find and Exploit a Niche. Opportunity in "Weakness"

    Beer after rollups went through a terrible consolidation: From 1948 1,000 US breweries to 1984's 40. Beer was sold on the advertising and the marketing of a brand, not the ingredients, brewing process, and the passion of a brewer. 1% NICHE And I think I can make a little niche out of that. When I started, even the term "craft beer" didn't exist. We were called micros, and it was this radical idea. SOCIAL MISSION THEME creating a fan cult and distribution channels

    • data proved businesses that recognize a social mission do better financially than others vs MBA/Economies of Scale.
    • 2008 you started the Brewing the American Dream program
    • Work with bars to provide Oomph - why customers should come into bars
    • One of highlights of Boston tourism is trips to Sam Adams brewery - seen as a historical - even having Downtown Boston venue!
  5. Persistence. Educating the Consumer is HARD! Building Craft Beer took 20 years to take firm hold.

    It was a long, slow process for the education of a consumer. I had been in thousands of bars, doing wait-staff education, where I'd come in with the ingredients in beer and show them the malt and the hops. I'd show them the hops extract and explain that this is the shortcut that a lot of imported beers use. These are real hops. This is malt.

  6. Keep Up with Competition in Your "Little" Niche

    Sam Adams has faced increasing competition for 25 years, with crowding into craft brewing. But their company just got even better: pushes to continue to raise the quality level - thesis of best ingredients of hops and malt. Also forced to continue to innovate and make new beers.

  7. Continue Innovation and Disruption

    Sam Adams with crowding in was forced to continue to innovate and make new beers. Even 30 years later, founder can be found in brewery hands on refining new products:-

    • a limited-release Utopia brew, which is barrel-aged and has four to five times the typical alcohol content of beer.
    • beer that is not carbonated, but rather nitrogenated, which completely changes the flavor profile. Beer doesn't necessarily have to be carbonated. It wasn't carbonated until 150 years ago.
    • Proven yet nostalgic or traditional flavors in beer that have disappeared, like hard root beer, which was very common in the 18th century.
  8. Good Founders

    When I started Sam Adams, I had an MBA from Harvard, a law degree from Harvard, six or seven years of management consulting. [But ..] I didn't know how to make a sales call. I didn't know how to design a label. I didn't know how to do a real-estate lead or set up a payroll. I didn't know how to get publicity for my business.

Now 31 years later Boston Beer Company maker of Sam Adams produces 1% of all beer in the US, and its flagship product, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, is universally recognized by beer drinkers. In 2014 had $0.9b in revenue, selling 4.1 barrels of beer and cider in US and 30 countries.

He also sparked a craft-beer revolution



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