I realized this would happen.
The analysts always break down the various statistics of business failure with restaurant stories. Appropo since everyone needs to eat but stupid because no one NEEDS to always eat out. But hey, in popular culture, it’s as relevant as breathing.
The saying you know goes that X number, percent or whatever of restaurants fail within X amount of time. But a lot of them fail to record the relationship between what kind of restaurant, when it started, other similar restaurants that DIDN’T fail in the same time period, and other relevant qualities.
Remember when they said an eye for detail was important on that job posting? Too bad an eye FOR an eye for detail is what’s missing.
More importantly, the statistics of customer interest and behavior around new products or ideas are, well scarier. Just the basic statistic of media should be enough to scare off anyone from trying to sell something on the internet.
At least one popular Internet marketing agency states that open rates for emails, clicks on banner ads, and “likes” on anything that is obviously an ad or business has fallen into less than 1 percent figures.
Think about that in terms of small projects like the pencase and you would be right to think that every popular metric is very low. And that’s before I’ve even technically made 1 sale.
The truth is I had made a simple calculation. I knew the pencase was not a mass appeal object. I knew the potential customer had two qualities which frustrate marketers – they were very high in interest and engagement but also highly frugal. That’s their polite way of saying cheap.
That’s not meant as an insult but I did make a bet on the highest possible qualities of that audience. I might publish the spreadsheet I made of the variables I knew I could calculate to make the pencase a worthwhile product. Right now, its tipping into my worst case scenarios – high engagement, but low budgets.
I know many a stalwart designer has butted against this wall. People like Jobs would have said they don’t know what’s what but I got some really smart folks to sign up for this program. I set a path for the pencase into the wheelhouses of a particular kind of person I like to think.
The next step if to make sure that the qualities which make the pencase an interesting and desirable object aren’t lost in the search to make it profitable.