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.
I had no clue about how to send the first shipment of drill bit holders. So I stuffed the car and did the 7 hour one way drive myself. Daddy tagged along to stop me from picking my nose.
Safe – Not sorry The reason for me driving across half of Sweden was that I didn’t know how to conduct an ordinary truck delivery. Instead I concealed it with booking a meeting, claiming I was passing by on another errand. This way I would had no worries about the delivery being made in a timely fashion.
Daddy driver My father tagged along and drove the car most of the time. I was rather exhausted preparing the late delivery and got a bit of a rest. I guess he was a bit proud of my success and wanted to participate.
Awkward delivery The supervisor of their huge national inventory warehouse was perplexed by me climbing up one of their +80 truck ramps with only a few boxes. And it was indeed awkward since I couldn’t even give him proper answers about the delivery apart from how proud I was of my invention.
Awkward meeting I was concerned about the late delivery but my contact assured me not to worry, they’ll just put my drill bit holder in the spring catalogue. It was a very short meeting. I had nothing special to say but was very happy knowing the delivery was done.
Suddenly they told me we had to wait 3 weeks more for the material delivery!? This was not included in their estimated production time and sabotaged my deadline completely. On top of this the material company sent the wrong stuff adding even more delay to the injury.
I pledged to the retailer if they could accept a divided delivery, half now & half later. They replied -”All or nothing!”. A worrying comment indeed.
The degree of elasticity was hard to decide. Just before the first production batch I figured out how stiff it had to be. A problem with elastic gadgets is that you want a combination of maximal stretchiness with sturdy stiffness. It will always be a compromise and I will do my best to never invent anything elastic again.