Because of bad weather, I was stuck in Hyannis for the night. There were severe thunderstorms that never seemed to let up. Fortunately, I had a speaking engagement on Cape Cod in the morning–so it kind of worked out OK. I borrowed a car to get to the event. It went pretty well. I was speaking to a group of newspaper people on the growing of a business.
After that, I flew back to Boston to spend the day at our Cambridge office. We have a great office in the middle of Harvard Square that used to be an old Harvard Club (Harvard’s version of a fraternity). I keep my plane at a small airport nearby.
I had been out of the office for several days–so there were mountains of mail, e-mail, and phone mail to deal with. It is always difficult to come back after being away for some time. Just as you’re trying to get through the mail triumvirate, you also have many people walking in to discuss things. It’s always a little crazy.
We have two new products coming out. One that we’ve been producing this week and one we will launch July 1. This week was our first production of Squeezed Nectars. Squeezed Nectars are a line of lemonade made in mason-jar-like bottles using not-from-concentrate lemon juice, water, and sugar (the real kind). I was able to taste two different flavors of final product. In tests you can perfect the taste, but until you actually see and taste a real production run, you never know what the result will be. Yesterday, I was able to taste them, and I loved them. We’ll roll advertising for the Squeezed in the next few weeks. We made ads with our actual grandmothers (Tom’s and mine). Pretty good stuff.
I also spent much of the day working on another new product, which we will launch in several weeks. Yesterday we worked on some technical and design issues. I meet with a team of people, each of whom plays several different roles. We taste things and try to relate what we taste to what the product should look like. The taste should match the package it comes in and vice versa. This is kind of a flaky approach, but it works for us. I can’t tell you too much about it. It’s a secret.
Late afternoon, we were in the studio making radio ads. We’ve been making radio ads for several years. We make them totally off the cuff. This style began by mistake. The first time we went to make ads we were told to come to a studio at a local radio station with a script and ideas for background music. Well, we received really bad financial news that day and Tom and I were in awful moods. We bagged the script idea and asked the recording guy just to tape us talking for a while and we’d mix it later. Well, Tom and I loosened up and began goofing around and talking for more than an hour. We took the best little sound bites from that session and made an ad. The ad ended up winning a Mercury Award (the Oscar of advertising). So we’ve done the same ever since.
We were in the studio making some new stuff for some nonprofit things we are doing and and also some tags for local radio stations (“Hi, I’m Tom and I’m Tom and you’re listening to so and so on such and such radio station.”) We’ve been working with the same guy for several years and we really click. We basically joke around the whole time, and he knows what to look for.
After that I worked out. I used one of those Precor elliptical crosstrainer deals. Pretty good workout. It’s easy on the knees. I work out for 45 minutes. Had a lot of laundry to do last night. I rotated doing laundry and watching The Doors movie. I have one of those DVD players. Val Kilmer is amazing in it.