The Taste of Ignorance

The Taste of Ignorance

"Taste is a matter of ignorance. If you know what you are tasting, you don't have to taste." Frank Lloyd Wright

It's not so much a lack of "like" when it comes to tasting, but rather ignorance to what it is that you're actually tasting. If you know what you're tasting and what goes into it, then you don't have to consciously try to taste.

You stop asking "Do I like this?" And you start imagining and diving into the communication from your palette to your brain asking "How did they make it taste like this? Why does it taste this way?"

It's a deeper way of living.

When coffee was first introduced to me, I didn't like it. The more I learned about coffee, how it was grown, seeing it picked first hand in the mountains of Costa Rica, and watching as the farmer skillfully processed the coffee bean. It all changed my thinking.

The day the switch flipped was when I tried the coffee that was sourced directly from the farm in the mountains. It was high quality coffee. No longer did I treat this coffee like a commodity, but I paid attention to it because I now knew more about what I was tasting. I knew its source, its flavor, and the attention to detail behind the company's mission to bring profits back to the farms.

No longer did I try the coffee and ask myself, "Do I like this black stuff?" But rather "Can I taste the sugary aftertaste that the farmer mentioned as he was processing the bean?" (I couldn't taste the aftertaste, but it was fascinating to me that I had been overlooking these flavors before).

It's ignorance versus knowledge.

Think hard, how can you bring your customers from a lack of understanding regarding your brand to understanding what you're all about and enjoying the fruits of doing business with you?

When you are educated about the type of coffee you're drinking, you begin to understand it. When you know that it was roasted with tender love and care just a few days earlier before being shipped to your door, you treat the coffee with a different understanding. It's no longer just a coffee, but it's a full experience and enjoyment.

It's someone's livelihood and passion.

My wife hates olives. Completely hates them. It's become a sour point in our marriage because I love olives and all things pickles. She despises the taste, but I think it's partly because she grew up only having low quality, canned olives that were not created with craft but rather in bulk and mass to provide a low cost niche. When you understand that olives are finicky and grow in certain places, that they must be picked at just the right time, pickled with the perfect seasoning, and then enjoyed with finesse, it becomes a different olive. It's not just an olive. It's a high quality, enjoyable and savory taste.

What taste does your product or service leave with your clients? Do they consciously look at you and taste you—trying to decide if they'll do business with you again? Or do they experience you and want to keep coming back for more?

Begin telling your backstory, open the doors of who your company is to your customers and show them the inner workings of how you solve their problems. Let them learn about your taste and how you operate.

The conversation then migrates from "Do I like this company?" toward "Can I live without them?"

(photo via mike)


For those entrepreneurs in Tulsa, Tim is working with a team of local entrepreneurs to launch 1 Million Cups in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation out of Kansas City. This event will be held every Wednesday morning at 9am in Tulsa. For more details click here. The Kauffman Foundation is selective on where they choose to locate a 1 Million Cups chapter, so Tulsa being selected is a big win for the entrepreneurial community in the region.

Thanks for reading and we'll talk to you next week,

Tommy & Tim