This afternoon is the first time I’ve spent more than an hour working on ToyCo in the last two weeks. My hiatus didn’t occur because of a lack of desire but merely from a lack of time. I had to spend more time in the Mountain State than originally anticipated, which took most of my time.
The extended time off did give me an opportunity to so some reading, conduct a couple interviews and think about the next steps for the company. My current book right now is John Mullins’ Getting to Plan B: Breaking Through to a Better Business Model. The
Divine Miss M Natasja recommended it to me about a month ago as a good book. She was right. His methodical and hypothesis based approach to starting a business was exactly the thinking I needed to move the project forward. I’m about two-thirds of the way through it. Good stuff.
While back in Morgantown, I got to meet with one of my old marketing professors. He’s an expert in product marketing and does a fair amount of business consulting when not shaping the minds of young skulls full of mush. We talked for over an hour. The big take-aways: launch online first, don’t sweat not having product (that’s what 6-8 weeks delay is for) and be damn careful with exclusive deals with Latin American distributors. The online business can help us start getting data on the demand, while the 6-8 week delay gives us enough time to understand demand before committing to manufacturing.
The last point was the most interesting. During our discussions with a couple Mexican manufacturers the offer of them becoming our distributor has come up. We were thrilled. Kinda like the self-conscious girl who gets asked to the dance – our team was thrilled someone was interested. Turns out, the end of Dashboard by the Paradise Lights, they say that to all the girls. The game is to collect as many exclusive deals as possible so we’re locked into them for our market. The power shifts from us to them – quick.
I’m now working on our website and thinking through our first round of hypotheses to be tested. This approach means there will be more forward progress while also being more scientific in our approach.