Tag Archives: research

Toilet Alarm Clock – Part 2

(Posted in Muddled Memories)

(Continued from Toilet Alarm Clock – Part 1)

The internet is full of information.  And a lot of it is useless.  It’s almost a science to know how to find helpful information.  You would think you could type  __________ manufacturing into the mighty Google and a plethora of useful links would pop up.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  Many of the search results that show up at the top are the companies that pay top dollar to get that position.  These companies can pay big bucks to get there because they are hauling in big bucks.  They do business with well established brands that have deep pockets.  Developing a product for a complete amateur isn’t exactly on their to do list.  In fact, it’s not on it at all.  Manufacturers, especially oversees ones, deal in minimum orders.  They usually require you to purchase at least 2,000 units.  So, let’s say each unit is $10 from the factory.  You’re in $20,000 deep for just the first order.

Not to mention, oversees manufacturers are in foreign countries.  Slight problem; they speak a foreign language.  How the heck am I supposed to communicate with them?  I don’t even know any of the important terms for this type of industry.  I was ready to give up and roll back onto the ground.

I stuck it out for a couple more searches and struck gold.  So I thought.  Here we go, a manufacturer that is only about 5 hours away and works with start ups.  How lucky am I . . . they do consulting and construct prototypes.  Everything on their website looked good and I liked what I was seeing.  I did a little research about the company in a couple forums and everything check out alright.  I decided to email them to see if they could help me out.

It’s kind of amazing now a days with social media and information overload that everyone has to have some comedian in them.  You’ve got to stand out a little if you want to get someone’s attention.  (It’s too bad because it creates the annoying “one-upper” type person.)  I realized that this manufacturing company probably got hundreds of emails a day from people like me that thought they had a fantastic idea.  They were pretty much the only company I found after hours of research that stated they work with amateurs.

So, the subject line of an email becomes your audition.  You’ve got to pass the eye test and compel them to click on it.  I went with “College student with an idea so good I will no longer have to sleep my way to the top.” A little long?  Absolutely.  But, they responded.  And God, how I now wish they didn’t . . .

It’s funny how sometimes you think you caught a lucky break and it really turns out to a shitty situation.  Kind of like having a toilet siren for an alarm clock . . .

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Lets hear from you . . . do you get frustrated with researching on the internet?  When you really want a response from someone via email, how do you prepare your subject line?

Post your responses here in the comments section, on twitter, on facebook, or within the MadCap facebook group!  Thanks, I look forward to discussing this with you!

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Waiting at the Doorstep

(Posted in Daily Chronicles)

Yesterday, I rushed to the mailbox like a kid expecting Santa Claus.  The long awaited day had finally come; the delivery of the sample.  I’m on the cusp of being welcomed inside;  I will no longer have to be waiting at the doorstep.  My goal was almost complete.  I could almost taste the round of Big Bourbon that The Exec was to going to have to buy for our bet.

Tearing open the package like a rabid animal, I sensed that all of my frustration from the past couple months could finally be let out.  All of the struggle was worth it.  The countless hours of research,brainstorming, phone conferences, hundreds of emails, traveling, and thousands of dollars were suddenly paying off with each tear. And, oh yeah, some redemption for getting royally screwed by the Fox Bros. (I’ll get to this story later).

Damnit, this thing is harder to open than those stupid plastic packages for action figures.  It was sealed extra tight because it had been sent from a world away.  It boggled my mind that a couple days ago my sample was being crafted in a Chinese factory 8,000 miles away and now it was in my hands.  Fascinating times we live in. (We’ll be discussing this in the next post).

All of the mounting anticipation and difficulty of the package just added salt to the wound after I saw the sample.  It was terrible.  Not even close to being ready for the market.  There really is some universal law that everything has to be difficult, isn’t there?  We have come so far but are still so far away.  Now, I had to contact my consultants and be like the guy at Subway bitching about not getting enough salami on his sandwich.  This isn’t acceptable!  I hate being that guy.  But, it is a role you have to fulfill if you want to produce a quality product that people will buy.  I think. 

Of course, my consultant was positive as usual.  It takes a couple runs of samples to get it right.  The next one will be market ready.  I get that, but I can’t keep forking over money for crappy samples.  The budget is running dangerously low.  I am convinced, after these past couple months, that being successful in whatever field of business, half of it is being able to spin things. The ability to deflect dissatisfaction and spin a positive  solution is an invaluable skill to have.  Especially when dealing with clients.  Every client presents their own sets of demands, vision, and budget for what they want from you.  Being able to absorb their frustration and presenting a “its no so bad” speech seems key.

I thoroughly explained what needed to change.  Okay, great.  I’m telling you the next sample will be magnificent.  We’ll see.  Back to the waiting game.  Great, Madam Moola is going to be pissed . . . (that’ll make sense later on).

The guy who answered the door now looks confused and is asking who I am.  With my shoulders hunched, I respond “still just the Madcap.”  The door closes.  But, it seems as though he left it ajar for some reason . . .

Continue to The Brothers Who Stand A Century Apart . . .

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Have you ever been eagerly awaiting something and then were highly disappointed?  Please comment!

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