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Say you want to get into self-producing a podcast. Or maybe into the art of fine coffee brewing. Where would you start? Although the process is different for everyone, getting into a new hobby typically involves:

  • Googling to figure out the gear you need
  • Looking on Amazon for reviews and pricing
  • Reading forums where passionate posters write about the merits and faults of the product(s) you want to buy
  • Asking friends through social media channels for recommendations

In some cases the process succeeds, and yet it falls short in others. You have to be willing to invest the time to research, read, and figure out the questions you need to be asking.

Say you'd like to get into connoisseur level coffee brewing, but not sure where to begin. You may or may not have heard of things like a French or Aeropress, but ultimately you are a newbie. Sure you can start googling things like "home coffee brewing", but if your search savviness and patience are low, you may end up with some fine tasting K-Cups and miss out on an entire world of coffee brewing.

Blue Bottle Coffee have a great solution to this challenge. On their homepage they have a "Learn" menu, that has a sub-menu titled Brewing Guides. This page has 12 different methods for how coffee can be prepared.

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Each method includes a Background, list of gear needed (that can be conveniently purchased on the Blue Bottle Coffee website), brew time, and an email to send your questions to. It's simple and effective. A newbie can review each method, find the one that appeals to them and get started.

Blue Bottle Coffee is a retailer that I trust and respect, and therefore I was comfortable with going off of their product recommendations. I still checked Amazon reviews for each piece of gear that I purchased, but I saved a ton of research time and effort by not having to search for things like "best hand coffee grinder".

I feel the Brewing Guides could be improved by including a comparison like table that highlights the approximate price of each setup, and the pros and cons of each one. But having them all in one place from a reputable source is highly convenient.

I have two takeaways. One is that if you are building a product, it behooves you to provide some use cases of how your product can be used. Give people tangible ideas on how they can start using your product today. If something resonates, you may obtain a life-long fan. The other takeaway is I think we will see a product in the near future that solves this "where do I start" problem. It will be an aggregator that will have "brewing guide" like lists from any vertical.

No more piecing together random Google searches and reading an endless amount of Amazon reviews. Instead, review several well-vetted lists, pick the one that appeals to you and your budget, and get started.

Sounds good to me!