The First Step to Making Something Better, Putting it Out There

November 4 2017, 8:35pm

With more focus than ever on unique and immersive experiences, we are seeing an increase in businesses producing new things for people to try. From unique looking foods like rainbow grilled cheese and Instagrammable experiences like The Museum of Ice Cream, each of these has the ability to become better having been created first.

All too often, when we conceptualize new ideas to pursue, we try to think of them in their idealize state. We continue to iterate in our heads and (later) on paper until they are even more perfect. There are many insights though that will not be uncovered until that thing is first made. One bar that I recently experienced that stands out for simply existing is Scum and Villainy Cantina.

Neon blue cocktail

If you guessed that this bar had something to do with Star Wars, you would be right. Scum and Villainy is a Star Wars theme bar located in the heart of Hollywood.

To experience it, patrons first enter through an alleyway and go down a long dark staircase. At the end is a plain-clothed receptionist there to give you access to the bar and, in my case, drink tokens.

My friends and I entered the venue to find a mildly theme bar with typical bar music. Some of the patrons were dressed up in Star Wars themed attire (ranging from simple T-shirts to full-on Jedi outfits). Most were not dressed up though. There were no aliens or storm troopers around looking for rebels.

All-in-all, the experience was okay. Though it was okay, it still has a place to build upon.

Upfront, the experience could have been made better by managing expectations in a more realistic way. When one thinks of Star Wars, there is a certain level of quality and fantasy that comes to mind. If the bar was advertised something like "a fan's love letter to the Cantina on Tatooine," expectations may have been set lower. Take, for instance, the cardboard arcade created by Caine. If you have the expectation that these games were created by a kid, it leaves room for you to be inspired instead of disappointed at the lack of innovation.

Managing expectations better can and should happen at the onset of creating something new. Proper surveying and listening to customer feedback can later help improve business.

Not every business has the ability to talk with customers in person, but especially with email, there is an opportunity to reach out and reengage. I would have been impressed to see some kind of email asking me how my experience was. Instead, I just received emails reminding patrons to come back with reminders about the exclusivity of the experience.

I have to applaud Scum and Villainy for taking the first step in making something better—by simply being made. The next step as with so many other businesses out there is to manage new expectations better and survey to find ways to truly make headwinds. With incremental improvements, I'm sure that this bar can become the infamous bar it's modeled after for all the right reasons.

As they say "Perfect is the enemy of good." Make that thing a reality and you'll be more than halfway there to making it the best it can be.

What are your thoughts on putting that thing you're working on out there?