I blew it.
Interestingly, I think I made a packaging mistake before any actual products have shipped. Sure, the betas were mailed, but they were mailed as simply as possible with a rather long letter that I think some people didn’t read.
The reason? I folded it the wrong way. That made me laugh. It was actually encouraging, since as people got the beta it meant they ripped into the box and just started playing.
One of the missions I had with this product can be wrapped up in one description: make something people couldn’t wait to use.
At least one user reported already having broken a part, but also immediately reported they had fixed it. This was at first, scary. I had mentioned in the letter that this wasn’t a durability test. But if no one read the letter, it would be easy to write off the pencase as a cheap toy and a failure.
I’m not really deterred by that, since no one paid for the beta no one is cheated of anything. And I am sure adjustments can be made so that during an actual durability test, the issues will be addressed.
The marketers and wonky business assholes of yesteryear would already be saying I’ve expended the trust of the audience. Not true. The only time I think anyone has to truly work at that is if they DON’T fix it.
The real value is that people are participating not so much consuming, and that is encouraging.
So there’s the next phase, the fun but expensive phase of material choices. See you then.