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May | June 2018

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Tombstones in the modern graveyard of business are chiseled with the names of once-dominant companies, like the most recent inhabitant, Toys-R-Us.

This graveyard is a surprisingly crowded place, as 52 percent of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in 2000 “have either gone bankrupt, been acquired or ceased to exist,” according to a 2014 report by the technology research and advisory firm Constellation Brands. Whether unwilling or unable to adapt to change, complacency has been one of the leading causes of death among these companies.

Complacency leads to companies becoming irrelevant. When was the last time you shopped at Toys-R-Us? If visited a Toys-R-Us store, or even shopped online with the retailer during the past couple of years, you would not have described the experience as “modern” or even “enjoyable.” The stores were dated, and the company’s web experience provided the bare minimum needed to order a product. This leads to a question we all must face: What amount of our limited time, money and resources should be dedicated to staying relevant?

For a small company, these decisions become even more critical as major miscalculations with resources, products or branding bring consequences ranging from inconvenient to catastrophic. So we are left with the need to move forward quickly, but smartly. Nowhere is this truer than in decisions related to hiring. New people come with new ideas, which are critical to maintaining relevancy. No matter how many books or blogs you read or events you attend, you are still constrained by your unique experiences. I believe relevancy comes from the combination of ideas tested and deployed quickly.

Along these lines, I would like to introduce Lily Kubota as Roast magazine’s new digital content manager and Daily Coffee News contributor.. Lily brings to our team a diversified set of skills, ideas and experiences honed from many years working in our industry. Roast is counting on her creative energy to keep us moving forward.

We are very proud of our bi-monthly magazine; Daily Coffee News; our Korean, Spanish and Chinese licensing partners; The Book of Roast; and now our new seed-to-cup photo book, Coffee Covered. Keeping Roast as a frequent and continuing presence in our customers’ minds is our key to staying relevant. Our strategy to achieve this is to provide valuable content to our audience in a variety of forms. We are not looking to make the Fortune 500, but we sure aren’t going down the Toy-R-Us path.


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