This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Digital Skeptic: Wake Up and Smell the Profits

It turns out that what is at the heart of this little profit engine is something near and dear to every investor's heart: a passionate and relentless commitment to a thorough human understanding of information.

Listen up, my digital data-weary brothers and sisters: What makes Everyman Espresso unique is that it seeks to confirm every data point that filters in from the coffee production and procurement process. Not only does Penix and company collect information from Web vendors and industry contacts; he invests real time and money in having actual humans use their actual senses to make a deep and complex emotional assessment of the beans they sell.

What that boils down to is every one at Everyman Espresso literally lines up the beans and smells for money. Employees here are like mini coffee sommeliers -- they brew, sniff and slurp their way through their latest inventory to debate, quantify and then finally pull the trigger on the beans they sell. The process is called cupping.

"We have to know what we are talking about and investing in," says Sam Lewontin, who manages the Soho location, "so we brew up each batch we get, confirm what the roasters have done and get in touch with the product."

Or in business speak, what Penix and his team are doing here is bringing a repeatable process for bringing complex human experience into play to draw out the essence of what works and what doesn't in a given business deal.

"As soon as I rely on other people's opinions and numbers," Lewontin says, "a bell goes off in my head that I better get in here and really get with the product."

Since Wall Street was just down the street, and honestly I was walking back from a trip to the office, I asked Lewontin what he thought would happen if banks and investors conducted the same sort of creative due diligence when they worked a loan or took an investment bet. Clearly, the topic had come up many times here in fashionable Soho, where the world's financial elite work and live.

"We would not be in the mess we are in," Lewontin says without hesitation. "If you are not cupping the beans, it's just garbage in and garbage out."

It might just be time for Wall Street to give up on the fetish of cold, data-centric investing and instead wake up, be a real human and start putting their money where their nose is.
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $94.19 -1.04%
FB $118.06 0.54%
GOOG $695.70 0.48%
TSLA $222.56 -4.20%
YHOO $36.00 -0.03%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,651.26 -99.65 -0.56%
S&P 500 2,051.12 -12.25 -0.59%
NASDAQ 4,725.6390 -37.5850 -0.79%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs