Stretch Goals

The term “crowdfunding” sounds nice. It makes me think of community and cooperation. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. And in a sense, I guess you could say that the DoubleShot has survived all these years on crowdfunding: crowds of people come in every day and spend money on our goods. But this whole Kickstarter thing is different.

We (Katie, Mark, and I) worked long and hard trying to figure out exactly how the whole thing works, how our book project fits into the Kickstarter framework, and what we should ask for and offer as “rewards.” It took a month longer than we’d planned to get our project off the ground, but I feel like we launched a nice-looking campaign. I made the executive decision to run it out for sixty days because I know how time flies, and squeezing one more thing into our busy lives isn’t always easy. But sixty days seems like a long time when you look at it from afar, so the sense of urgency probably doesn’t compel you to act right away.

The second decision I sheepishly made was setting our goal at $10,000. I admit, it was a cowardly move. But we’ve never done this before and I wanted to make sure we achieved our goal. What we ACTUALLY need in order to pay for the publishing of our book is $25,000. I figured if we didn’t get that much, we would at least get ten and I’d cover the shortfall. You’re saying to yourself, “That’s not the Brian Franklin I know; he reaches for the stars even if there’s a good possibility he might fail.”

You’re right, and I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.

So we surpassed our undervalued fundraising goal, but we’re not done yet. So we set a STRETCH GOAL: $20,000. These stretch goals are a way to continue to motivate people to back our project. So when we reach that $20K mark, we’re going to throw in an added reward: a 56g packet of one of our holiday coffees this year – an excellent natural from my friend Juan Ramon’s farm in Nicaragua. Everyone who backs the project will get this reward. So if you’ve already committed, encourage your friends to back so you can taste this amazing coffee.

I can’t even begin to tell you what this project means to me, personally, and what it means to the life and future of the DoubleShot. I’ve just been doing my thing over the past twenty-some years, not really thinking much about what my actions and experiences might mean to others. I kept my head down, took a lot of chances, learned a lot from failures and a few successes, and tried not to make the same mistakes over and over. But recently, looking back, I can see a swath of lessons, insights, and adventures that a lot of people would enjoy reading and benefit from knowing. But not only is it an archive of the past, it’s also a guidebook to the future. Our growth and development will be shaped by this book, driving us toward even more purity and quality in our products and ideals. So I think this book is important.

A few weeks ago I drove up to my hometown of Galesburg, Illinois. I visited my alma mater, GHS, and Monmouth College, where I played football and earned a degree in accounting. I talked to a few classes of students over the course of three days, trying to entertain them and share some wisdom from my life and career. People always say that these types of experiences are personally rewarding, but I didn’t understand it until I went. One class in particular, an entrepreneur course for regional high-school students, really impressed me. Everyone was professional and courteous, inquisitive and attentive. Nothing like I was in high school. These kids have the character and disposition to do whatever they want in life. I just hope I left them with a tiny bit of insight into the world outside of the cornfields of Illinois. They certainly inspired me and instilled a sense of hope and belief in the next generation.

So that’s the book. The Coffee Purist. It’s the story of my career. It’s the story of the DoubleShot. It’s a volume full of lessons learned, experiences had, inspirations, and amusements, all weaving a story that will leave you with a deep understanding of what coffee really is. And maybe some cues on how to run really far.

Thanks for supporting this project.