With a team that’s 400% larger than what we started with should come goals 4 times as lofty! Here’s what I’m promising we’ll knock out of the park for 2018. I’m not making any industry-wide predictions as my head has been buried so deep in BH work that it’s a little out of touch right now.
We’ll be serving up the best coffee courses and certifications in the world.
Equipment and subscriptions have been super fun ways to connect with the BH audience, scratch a few itches, and grow the team. The goal from day 1 has always been “help the world make better coffee” and education is the fastest route there.
Our Advanced Coffee Making Course and Certification is currently being torn apart by 100 beta testers and we’re confident it will fill a big gap in our industry’s knowledge on extraction and related matters. It’ll be launched late January direct to Baristas and also wholesale to roasters and cafes who want to empower their employees and clients.
We’re going to continue publishing a considerable amount of free information, but the really valuable stuff will be in our courses. With the depth of research needed to release the quality of information we demand, it plainly cannot be financed without some kind of pay-for-access.
We’re going to smash this out of the park, and it will all be far more valuable and relevant than any existing courses. Promise!
The monthly newsletter will become fortnightly, and much more valuable.
I originally moved the newsletter to monthly because I was overwhelmed managing our subscription and products and content singlehandedly. We also put too much information about our own products in there. Now that we have more humans around, we’re focusing on making the BH newsletter something you truly look forward to reading again. There’ll be less sections on what we’re selling and more opinion pieces, interesting links, industry news, and classic BH educational content. We’ll also be answering the top member-upvoted questions based on a fortnightly post in our Facebook Group.
We will leverage the size of the community to help the community.
We’ve collected tens of thousands of coffee people from around the world in our email list, facebook group, and website. So of course we have to ask ourselves “what do these people need?” and “how can we deliver more value at scale?”. Education and tools are great, but there’s a lot of things we can do to keep people up to date, drinking great beans, and be part of their community.
Step 1 is our new facebook messenger bot. Right now it’s a way for us to reach people more directly with coffee news and updates. Soon we’ll be integrating jobs, events, coffee recommendations, and even a coffee diagnostic tool (for real). Go sign up at m.me/baristahustle – it’s gonna be heaps of fun, and hopefully super useful as well!
Cool Earth donations will continue.
This one is a no-brainer. We offset more than 20,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2017 and hope to do even more this year. $1 goes to CoolEarth.org with every package we ship. It’s not easy making those payments but we’re not stopping any time soon.
We’ll improve the recyclability and sustainability of our tools.
Although aluminium itself is infinitely recyclable, anodised aluminium creates a terrible amount of pollution. Anodising is definitely industry standard, but this doesn’t mean we have to follow suit.
The milk pitchers currently have an electro-coat which is far far better than anodising on all metrics. Our cupping bowls are also made of 100% recyclable HDPE plastic which we believe will be a net reduction in energy and resources compared to heavy, breakable, ceramic bowls. We’re also investigating moving to a corn-based HDPE to improve their position even further.
We will continue this trend with any new products we release, and with new versions of existing products: low energy, low weight, recyclable, sustainable materials. Coffee already places enough of a burden on the environment.
Community and business diversity and inclusion will continue to improve
It’s safe to say that Michelle’s influence on the community guidelines and moderation of the facebook group has improved things immensely. If there’s people out there with something to say, then we think it’s valuable and we’re going to keep fighting to create a safe place for them to say it.
On the flip side, BH is currently 3 Aussie white dudes and one Michelle Johnson. This is pretty poor. Although Jeremy moving back to Australia was an unplanned no-brainer hire, this is going to swing heavily in the opposite direction in future.
Here’s to a super productive 2018!