Monday, July 15, 2013

On Authenticity and Trust

If you read creative business blogs, you'll see a lot of talk about Authenticity and Passion. That got me to thinking about an interview I read recently with someone who had just released a new...widget, we'll call it to protect everyone involved.

This person admitted in the interview that she doesn't even like the new widget, and wouldn't use it herself, but that she saw a void in the market that this widget would fill. For me, this raises a lot of flags about the person and her business. I guess she was being Authentic in admitting that she didn't like the widget, but how can I trust that that widget is Authentic and that I'll be happy with it, if it's maker doesn't even like it? How can she be Authentically Passionate about her widget - and convince others to be as well - if she doesn't like it herself? How can I Trust her line of products knowing that she doesn't like this widget? What other business decisions were made solely for the market and the expected gain rather than because of a true Passion for the product?

For me, Authenticity breeds Trust. Because I'm a truthful, what-you-see-is-what-you-get person myself, I tend to dismiss those I perceive as inauthentic. Once someone has violated my Trust, it takes a long time, if ever, to repair that violation. I don't know this person at all, but this one interview has caused me to consider whether I would buy her widget, her products, or support her business. Just because of a lack of Authenticity.

What do you think? Am I over-reacting? Have you had similar experiences?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday Food: Birthday Edition

It's my birthday this weekend. That means it's time for some Black Magic Cake! Love that Mocha Frosting. I'm not a huge coffee fan, but I could eat that frosting by itself, no cake involved! I first posted the recipe last year, but it's my birthday, so I can repost if I want to! Happy Birthday to me!

Black Magic Cake with Mocha Frosting

1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee and 1 cup boiling water)
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (or 1 Tbsp vinegar and milk to equal 1 cup)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 13" x 9" x 2"  pan or 2-9" round pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for sheet cake or 30-35 minutes for layer pans.
Cool completely on wire rack.

Mocha Frosting

3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 Tbsp hot coffee (or 1 tsp instant coffee and 3 Tbsp boiling water)
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt

Mix all ingredients until smooth and frost the cooled cake!
 Note: You may need to make additional frosting if you make a layer cake.