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TCHO New American Chocolate

The three year pregnancy

What I love about a start up is building something from scratch. The last time I did it with Wired, we had the advantage of essentially building software (media is software that ships on time). In the end, whether writing, editing, designing, laying out books, making TV shows, or building websites, it was about pushing pixels around a screen.

Chocolate is different. Chocolate is atoms, and is made with atoms (great big tons of atoms), and atoms are definitely not pixels. They can’t be pushed around, and they obey immutable laws that are barely susceptible to human will. My father was a mechanical engineer, and every day I walk into the factory, I develop new respect for him and his challenges.

It’s taken three years of nonstop effort, lots of sweat, tears, and even blood moving those atoms into position to get to this moment –- and I suppose I’m feeling lucky right now that it’s only taken three years.

There are no words to express the relief and joy and sense of accomplishment that this picture (thanks Johnny Grace) represents: our first 1.0 chocolate formulation (“Chocolatey”), hot off the TCHO-refurbished (by Doug in grey tee shirt) Bosch SIG wrapping machine, in our final 1.0 packaging, in our first POP (point-of-purchase) display.

Tom calls it going external. I call it giving birth. After a three year pregnancy. Phew.