Innovation, Cocktails and Data-driven Youthful Dreams

1 min


At some point in our youth, we’ve all convinced ourselves that we could open up a bar and do it so much better than everyone else. At NOBA, we’re no different. Hence, on November 29th, 2017, we decided to step out of the planning phase and put our money where our Dry Martinis are. The results were rather surprising.

Admittedly, the setting was not your traditional lounge. We held the event at our offices in Barcelona, and the excuse (because you need an excuse before enjoying a glass on a weekday), was an “Afterworks” workshop to showcase our methodology. Fearing our success, we had to keep the event private and limit it to 35 participants, including representatives from different corporates and from Barcelona’s vibrant startup scene.

The invitation details were seemingly standard: we would invite two corporates, one from a consumer foods company and another one from an insurance firm, to pitch ideas they were working on. Following our approach, the 30 guests would split into two groups and help identify the critical points on each of the two ideas. The most critical LOFA (leaf of faith assumption) would then be validated on the following weeks, courtesy of NOBA. This, of course, would be staying true to our philosophy of making data-driven decisions. What people did not realise, though, is that they themselves were being measured.

Parallel to the event, we had set up a bar. Thanks to our generous sponsor Heineken, we could offer beers and some non-alcoholic alternatives. Completing the beverage list was also a selection of three cocktails designed for the event by one of Barcelona’s most celebrated Mezcal mixologists, Pepe Carballido from Enmezcalarte. This spirit, which happens to be Tequila’s close cousin, is made from the agave plant in Mexico. Pepe made it very clear: it must be enjoyed by kissing the liquid rather than gulping it.

We handed each of our guests a paper with a random number with which they could order. This was for “efficiency purposes”, we misleadingly told them. They only needed to cross out the drink of choice on a flyer, anonymously sign with the number. The Barman would call out their number when the drink was served. At the end, the participants were invited to rate the event on the back of the paper and hand it in back to us.

We would then record the number on a paper, together with gender and source (corporate vs. startup), as well as arrival time of the person. We would then cross this data with the numbers gathered on the drink orders. This data, of course, would give us some insights into how better to run our next workshop, or potentially, a cocktail bar.

You can find the key metrics here. On average, startup folks order roughly the same amount of drinks as corporates (2,8 vs 2,1). But of these, over 90% are alcoholic for startups versus about 70% for corporates. Who would have thought? The optimal amount of drinks per person to have the best rating for the event is 4, as after that the number seems to drop slightly. The most ordered cocktail was “Triste – Feliz”, which combined Mezcal with chilli and chocolate notes. This is great data to design our next event, in order to stock up on enough drinks and maximize participant feedback and engagement.

Next time, we would love to have you join us, you only need to sign up on this link. We can discuss innovation, and how NOBA can help your company design new business models customers will care about. Or we can also be our younger selves again and discuss how to design that dreamed cocktail bar.

Get in touch!

Give us a little bit of information about your project and we will contact you soon with a tailored test plan for you!

*inNOBAtors: Our most precious asset, a highly qualified pool of early-adopters; non-incentivised, ready to give their opinion and eager to try innovative products.

Get in touch!

Give us a little bit of information about your project and we will contact you soon with a tailored test plan for you!