A Swedish guy trying to inspire & entertain you with my experiences of inventing stuff.
This is the living story of my venture to design & produce a completely new product for the consumer market. Hopefully it will inspire you to take a leap and do the same.
Right now i´m in the middle of my mission and will mix recent events with an abundance of retrospective posting. My goal is that you will find it interesting, entertaining and invigorating.
If you are the type of person that runs out of the house into a blazing storm to fix something before it becomes a bigger mess you will certainly recognize this situation.
Stormy weather My family just moved to a house on the countryside. The house is in need of some minor fixing and I covered a small part of the roof with plastic for the winter. Today the wind started to rip up a splice in the plastic and I had to act fast for it not to completely blow off and become a huge mess.
Scramble scramble! Running around gathering stuff quickly made me grab a handfull of screws, a long enough board, a hand saw and, naturally, my Gearfixed screwdriver. Always keeping an eye on the flapping plastic cover, bit by bit ripping into a bigger opening.
Holding on to things The ladder blew down every time I let it go but it went fairly quick to measure up and cut the board that would hold things down. The problem was pulling and holding down the plastic sheet getting rid of the wind filled bubble it had become.
I got the first screw in and it was looking really good. Although I had to climb down and move the ladder a few times to fasten the board. Then it happens. The handfull of screws I rushed to grab were out and the last screw in my pocket had a different head.
Double trouble? If I would have run off and left the uncompleted reparation the whole thing might have blown off and there was no Way I could fix it until after the incoming snowstorm. But on my Gearfix drill bit holder was the solution – a PH2 drill bit. I quickly got the much needed screw in place and calmly walked to the shed and got additional screws to finish the job.
Not so embaressed any more
You can read up on my earlier uppgrades on the international packaging here and here. There are a few outlandish customers finding their way to my little drill bit holder Gearfix at this webshopfrom time to time. Enough to force me to buy a new batch of envelopes at least.
Well, I dont need 5.000 of them
I guess it was a few years ago I bought the earlier grey envelopes because the retailer had changed the minimum amount you have to buy from 100 to 5.000 pieces! But this wasn’t really a problem since if I didn’t want them to be dull and grey I could buy more collourful ones in batches of 100. I don’t need much more than that so I had to decide on one colour… Red is nice but maby some itchy postal man might think it’s filled with Anthrax so I chose Yellow (that turned out to be slightly greenish at arrival).
I did a huge misstake preparing for this TV-competition. I focused on performing a great act rather than trying to win the contest.
What jury members?
I overlooked who I was supposed to impress, the jury. In the earlier TV-competition it was the viewers that would cast the final vote to decide who won. But here it was the store owners that decided what product to take into their shop. They couldn’t care less how fun, likable and good looking the innovator might be.
I actually did some long time preperations for this. Although what I did was probably the biggest mistake. I figured, wrongly, that it would be good to have a nice margin of profit so shine with to the Ullared purchasers. So I worked very hard to get my other retailers to raise their consumer prices and boost the profits. This was straight in the wrong direction to impress this jury. The Ullared department store is an extremely bargain focused, low priced place. My price range was probably the thing that tipped me down from the chance to get the product into their store. I instantlly realized this when I was on the TV-set. But then it was too late.
I actually thought I was winning but realized just before the jurys announcement that I already lost. Welcome to my second TV-attempt.
I was all set on doing a great TV-performance because it’s more fun that way. So I needed something to get me as much screen-time as possible. If there were any celebritys there I had to make sure they would stop by my marketplace. This was an example of missing the mark. Here the mark was to impress the jury, no one else was important.
What I should have done
On top of missing the mark my head was stuck up my ass until one week before recording date (it was recorded 6 months in advance). I wasn’t bothered by not knowing how the competition was organized. I think the TV-crew didn’t really know either.
Note to self– Make sure to get as much info about a competition to maximize success.
Anyhow, I could have done a much better job convincing the jury members just by preparing a little better.
If you havent seen this particular TV-show Ullared – Jakten på storsäljaren – it might be helpful to read this.
Huge department store
The largest department store in Sweden has its own TV-show. They simply film people and employees walking around in the store and make fun of it. There has even been a few spinoffs, especially one with an empoyee couple traveling the world (Check it out here).
The show I’m in is simply a way to make TV of people that want to get their product into the store. There were about 30 products for each episode and one from each episode make it in to the store. A jury of two purchasers walk around behind the scenes and ask questions about price, lead time and other boring stuff off screen.
Simply the best
One product from each episode makes it in to the store. Its a big store and they sell tons of products.