Tag Archives: The Alarm

Sorry, Keep the Champagne on Ice – Part 1

(Posted in Muddled Memories)

(Continued from Toilet Alarm Clock – Part 2)

Parents change your poo diapers, listen to you when your voice changes to an annoying Michael Jackson pitch, and invest in you going to college.  They grin and bear through this ever long sentence in purgatory in hopes that you gain some semblance of a skill in college and land a job.  Then, they can finally belt out “Victory!”  Champagne is popped and at last, relief.

I was cognizant of that as I was pacing around thinking of the best way to pitch the idea to my Dad.  In my parents minds, the long awaited boot-to-ass day is so close that they can almost taste the Cristal. The last thing they’d want to hear is that I want to start a business.  That would definitely keep the bottle on ice for awhile.  Well, damn, I want to move out too.  Hell with champagne, I’m going to be celebrating with several sets of keg stands.  Sure, it’s going to extend my stay, but its too good to leave on the back burner.  This baby needs to immediately be thrown into the deep frier.  Its marinated and ready to be devoured.  I stood still.  Why am I arguing with myself?  I need to come up with something.  I concluded the best thing to do was check out clips of the show “The Apprentice” on youtube.

Thinking that I could get some good ideas on how to pitch an idea, I realized that this was the worst thing I could have watched.  The Donald completely craps on everything the contestants had to say.  Fortunately, my Dad is bald doesn’t have a severed skunk’s tail sitting on his head like The Donald.  So, it might not be as bad.  Hopefully.

My Dad was going to arrive any minute to pick me up for the monster truck rally we had tickets to.  I needed to have a strategy ready because I knew how he would respond.  Businesses take forever to start, you need a lot of start up money, there’s probably something already like it, and you don’t know anything about business.  Taking a step back, I knew that they all were fair points; other than the something already like it part.  Rather than combat every point he made, I decided it would be better to counter with a tried and true method The ol’,  “Look what they did.  If they can do it then I can.”  The success-story- strategy (try saying that 5 times fast) can be a deal closer if used correctly.  I had a specific story in mind that was similar to my situation.  This will show that it is realistic to think that it can work.

With this “wing and a prayer” plan in my back pocket, I went to eagerly await outside.  While waiting, I felt like I was about to try out for a sports team.  I had to prove that I had something viable in order to make the cut.  It was important to have my Dad on board with this venture to bestow his decades of business smarts.  And, obviously, help out with some start up cheese.  I could see my Dad’s ’71 Charger howling down the hill.  I crossed my fingers.  Hopefully the rally cars are the only things that get crushed today.

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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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