Industrious John: A Tale of Futility
When being industrious leads to sorrow
So there’s this fellow interested in videography. Let’s call him John. John is an industrious fellow and pretty handy with a camera. He’s excellent with panning, and closeups. But John the cameraman is sick and tired of carrying all twenty of his cases to each shoot he books. He has two boxes full of cables, each weighing about 60 pounds. But since he is industrious, he comes up with a great solution for his problem, and decides to try to sell it.
His solution is to consolidate all those cables in to one case. He designs a stand up carpet-covered case for cables. It’s a durable cabinet-like case with dolly-like wheels that can easily carry over eight rolls of cables.
Overall, he spends about $2000 to build his product and improve on it. The price for each case works out to be $200 dollars to sell.
He builds 10 cases, which he will sell for $320.00 each (in order to make a profit. )
In a few months, he has a garage filled with these boxes for cables for videographers to make their life easier…but he doesn’t sell even one.
WHY JOHN FAILED
- It’s called market research. If he had checked out the market to see what it had to offer others in the way of cable boxes, he might have been able to save himself a lot of money. Most videographers don’t use cables. Everything is done with battery power.
- If a videographer uses any sort of cable, they are going the minimalist route so they don’t have to endure the same problem John had. Too many cases to have to haul around.
If John had just gotten on FB and checked his information with some others of his ilk, he might have saved himself a lot of trouble. But John was so happy over his idea and how easy he could execute it, and how much money he could make, he didn’t do his due diligence.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
If you are an industrious person like John, you should totally plan your ideas for products to sell with your end user in mind. There is no sense in selling a book on how to write a book when 999 Youtube videos exist on the same subject. Not to mention the 9,999 ebooks out there telling a newbie how to write a book.
You have to perfect your idea, make it different than the others have made, and spend a little time on developing a relationship with your target buyers. Maybe if you have had a blog for five years and you always talk about writing stuff, then some of the aspiring authors out there will be happy to buy your book on how to write a book. They know you know what you are talking about. But you really should call it “How to Write a Book When You Already Know Everything About It” or something else catchy.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. –Chinese proverb.