Pushing out my drill bit holder to 60 stores in three countries was done in a flash. When was the next order to be expected?
12 small boxes left
It was easy to calculate how much was left in storage. Now I was enthusiastically trying to predict when and how large the next shipment would be. I might have been a bit over enthusiastic about it.
What to expect?
With such a fantastic invention I just had to get a running start. It would probably fly off the shelves and be a great success. Reality slowly gravitated me back to the ground of reasonable expectations.
Kiosk rambler (Kioskvältare)
To be fair, it was selling OK for a new, unknown product with no marketing attempt at all. It was just put up on the shelves and wasn’t even in the freaking catalogue. Lets just say it didn’t fly off the shelves neither figuratively- or literally speaking. It never became a kiosk rambler.
There is no such thing as luck. Timing is the closest thing you can call luck. Or bad luck, in my case when launching Gearfix.
Create your own fortune The envious often fail to see all the sacrifice and hard work it takes to become fortunate. I clearly remember when I started out as an entrepreneur and was jealous of colleges that got all the jobs. Later on I realized the “secret” of fortune – Working hard and working smart.
Fortunately unlucky When I missed the catalogue deadline it wasn’t a big deal at first. The downside of this became apparent much later. I got the product into over 60 stores in three countries which was great. But nobody knew of its existence because it wasn’t in the freaking catalogue!
The result My new product wasn’t selling that great since no one knew it existed. Only slow walking customers shuffling around, ending up in the right isle of the shop had a chance to stumble upon my designed Gearfix box. Then they had to make an effort figuring out what a Gearfix was hopefully purchasing one or two.
Why was this extra bad? I was hoping the sales numbers could help in my future pitches to other retailers. It was selling fairly well, but certainly not breaking any records. I was extremely worried that my product would be cancelled before even making the retailers next catalogue.
An earlier SNAFU* with the bastard advisor had delayed my progress. Now everything was rushed on to deliver in time for the retailers catalogue.
Just in time… NOT! I was in a very tight spot. They released their catalogue twice a year and wanted my Gearfix drill bit holder in the next edition. But I was in the middle of developing it and could not guarantee it would be ready in time. In fact, I couldn’t guarantee anything.
Worlds best retailer They were concerned of me rushing the development and told me about another invention they had last year. He had a very clever tool, but it was rushed into production. That resulted in material failure and they had to recall all units. It simply broke apart in the hands of the customers and the product got such a bad reputation it never recovered.
He ended saying -”Developing new products have to take its time. It’s better you aim for next years catalogue Martin.”.
Yep, I missed it
I even missed our next deadline by a few weeks. But it was about five months until the next catalogue so no one really bothered. However, not being in the catalogue from start turned out to have a negative impact later on.