What I Learned By Launching A New Beverage

by | Mar 28, 2022

I’ve never shared this story before.

I told someone the other day that just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

This was definitely the case when I tried launching a new beverage in the New York City school system.

At the time it seemed like a good idea. I knew someone that was producing and selling a beverage in New York City.

They knew that the New York City Department of Education was looking for a new beverage that was healthier than the traditional sugary beverages – something that was good for kids to drink.

Soon enough, I was pitching to the New York City school board. Next thing you know, we are producing a product that was healthier than the traditional beverages they were carrying in their vending machines.

It actually tasted great too. The New York City Department of Education conducted a focus group and everyone loved our new beverage.

It was using my spinformation label to deliver positive content to kids such as how to get your drivers license and how to apply to colleges.

We ran into so many obstacles we hadn’t anticipated.

We eventually failed.

I walked away from that experience with new insights that I’d like to share.

#1 – Know your weaknesses
We created a beverage that tasted good and was unique. But at the end of the day, we didn’t know the industry. No matter how great your idea is, it takes knowledge and experience to commercialize it.

#2 – Build the right team
The missing piece we didn’t understand was the vending machine business. The major companies that were selling the sugary beverages “owned” the machines. We hadn’t built the right team that knew how to work with the New York City schools or the vending machine business (which was Coke and Pepsi).

Launching a new idea takes passion, a good idea, and knowledge.

Do you have all the missing pieces?

Stephen Key
– inventRight Cofounder