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smark

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 25, 2017
95
210
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Limassol, Cyprus
Hello to all forum members!

First of all, a big thanks to @MJ DeMarco for writing not one but two books challenging the current (flawed) state of thinking among individuals worldwide, and showing to all of us that there is more to life than just 'doing what you're told.'

I am about to turn 21, and currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Southern California (I'll get more into this later).

My guess is that it all started at about the age of 5. Knowing that my own grandfather and several older family members were operating successful businesses, I made up my mind that all I ever wanted to be was a millionaire. Not that this matters much, but does make for an interesting story. From that point on-wards, I realized that the only way for me to distinguish myself from my peers, was through learning. I still remember being in elementary school and asking my mom (an experienced banker) questions like:

"Mom, what are stocks?"

"How do radio stations make money since we get to listen for free?"


And though this desire for learning never died, I was unfortunately pulled into the slowlane way of thinking and abandoned my goals of operating my own business(es). In the mean time I was doing pretty well at school, and occasionally spent my free time studying coding, social psychology, and even finance. I had made up my mind to pursue a degree in the US (born in Southern EU), and life was going exactly how I wanted it to (...or so I thought). The plan was to get my degree, spent some time working in the US, and then go back to my home country to get the living soul taken out of me by a company or corporation in search for my skills. Doesn't that just sound amazing? Even writing this right now makes me cringe at what my life could had ended up to.

Shortly before coming to the US (Note: This is only my second year of university due to the fact that a 2-year military service was mandatory in my country at the time) I 'found' the 4-Hour Work Week, along with a series of other entrepreneurial books, websites, and resources; guess which other book related to this forum I had 'found.' Needless to say, the way I view life has never been the same since.

As any young man with delusions of grandeur, I action-faked my way through my military career and the first two semesters in the US as a college student. Being aware of the possibilities available to me, I called my family after going to university for just one semester explaining to them that studying was just not something I wanted to do, and believed that there were far better things to do with my time. Given my parents' way of thinking though, dropping out was not exactly an option for me. Then I though to myself: "Wait, this might not be that bad after all."

The way I see it, although operating a business while in university might not be the best thing, it certainly is possible, and gives me about 3 years to figure out how to become financially independent. Do I like it? For the most part, no. However, I have been able to pick up a useful thing or two from some of my classes which should should come in handy down the road.

I am now in the process of starting my own eCommerce business. My familiarity with WordPress and website design, as well as my experience in copywriting accumulated from freelancing, and not to mention all the golden knowledge acquired through @eliquid 's "Paid Advertising Crash Course," are more than enough for me to get on this path that I have delayed for so long.

However, I am in need of some guidance. What I want to do is build not just a store, but a brand around a single-product or series of similar/related products. After weeks of listening to people's problems, searching this forum, looking up products featured on Shark Tank, and frequently checking out crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, I found out a product that could possibly gain some traction if marketed correctly. The product is a hand-held electric kitchen appliance, which allows the user to perform some basic food-prepping actions with little effort. These features, along with an attractive (and somewhat colorful) design not often seen in kitchen appliances, is what I intend to offer to my customers. Currently, there are a number of similar products on the market (all sold by big companies), but none of them are able to perform all the functions of my appliance, and honestly, they all look boring and uninteresting. This fact, coupled with aggressive paid advertising and possibly a crowdfunding campaign (not so much for the money, but for the exposure) are how I am planning to sell my invention. If the first product does reasonably well, I have a few ideas on how to make an improved version of it, and possibly extend some of its functionality while maintaining or improving its aesthetic value. From there on, I can possibly offer worldwide shipping (initially the product will only be available in North America), and even try to get into some big retail stores.

Although I already have some finished designs from an industrial designer I hired online (non-disclosure agreements are key when doing this) I am having doubts in terms of the (relatively) long-term lifespan of this business due to the low Customer Lifetime Value involved, as well as the fact that kitchen appliances are not exactly that exciting. My product is like one of those things that you buy once and never think of again until at least a few years down the road when they get kinda old or start to break down. Therefore, constantly getting New Customers will be key in increased profits.

So...after the long introduction and my tedious descriptions I have a question to ask you:

What do you think?
 

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MJ DeMarco

Administrator
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Although I already have some finished designs from an industrial designer I hired online (non-disclosure agreements are key when doing this) I am having doubts in terms of the (relatively) long-term lifespan of this business due to the low Customer Lifetime Value involved, as well as the fact that kitchen appliances are not exactly that exciting. My product is like one of those things that you buy once and never think of again until at least a few years down the road when they get kinda old or start to break down. Therefore, constantly getting New Customers will be key in increased profits.

What do you think?

Being in the business of something that doesn't repeat is tough, because like you said, you have to find new products or new customers. Or your product has to have some type of obsolesce or refill-ability, like a razor that needs blades.

That said, I'm all for doing something and getting experience, Fastlane or not.

If you sell 10,000 units, that would be a success. And any success story becomes an asset for you, and for any prospective acquirer.

Welcome to the forum. May I suggest you read the books if you haven't yet, they really help clarify some of these business decisions.
 

smark

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 25, 2017
95
210
152
Limassol, Cyprus
Thank you for the swift reply MJ, I appreciate it!

Being in the business of something that doesn't repeat is tough, because like you said, you have to find new products or new customers. Or your product has to have some type of obsolesce or refill-ability, like a razor that needs blades.
I was thinking the same thing. Maybe I can discuss this with my designer and figure out a way to improve the product's functionality while inducing some type of refill-ability...OR maybe not and just try and get as many sales as possible.

If you sell 10,000 units, that would be a success. And any success story becomes an asset for you, and for any prospective acquirer.
The way I see it, if I can possibly get some decent exposure and a few thousand sales, maybe some big kitchen appliance company will be willing to buy the patent from me. Either way, the experience gained through this will be HUGE for me and that's all I could ever ask for.

Welcome to the forum. May I suggest you read the books if you haven't yet, they really help clarify some of these business decisions.
I have actually read some of the MLF, but never got to read all of it from start to finish. I'll get that sorted though ASAP.

Thank again you for all the input!
 

eliquid

( Jason Brown )
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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May 29, 2013
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Louisville - Kentucky
and not to mention all the golden knowledge acquired through @eliquid 's "Paid Advertising Crash Course," are more than enough for me to get on this path that I have delayed for so long.

Thanks
 

Andy Black

Making a nuisance of himself on Twitter
Staff member
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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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May 20, 2014
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Hello to all forum members!

First of all, a big thanks to @MJ DeMarco for writing not one but two books challenging the current (flawed) state of thinking among individuals worldwide, and showing to all of us that there is more to life than just 'doing what you're told.'

I am about to turn 21, and currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Southern California (I'll get more into this later).

My guess is that it all started at about the age of 5. Knowing that my own grandfather and several older family members were operating successful businesses, I made up my mind that all I ever wanted to be was a millionaire. Not that this matters much, but does make for an interesting story. From that point on-wards, I realized that the only way for me to distinguish myself from my peers, was through learning. I still remember being in elementary school and asking my mom (an experienced banker) questions like:

"Mom, what are stocks?"

"How do radio stations make money since we get to listen for free?"


And though this desire for learning never died, I was unfortunately pulled into the slowlane way of thinking and abandoned my goals of operating my own business(es). In the mean time I was doing pretty well at school, and occasionally spent my free time studying coding, social psychology, and even finance. I had made up my mind to pursue a degree in the US (born in Southern EU), and life was going exactly how I wanted it to (...or so I thought). The plan was to get my degree, spent some time working in the US, and then go back to my home country to get the living soul taken out of me by a company or corporation in search for my skills. Doesn't that just sound amazing? Even writing this right now makes me cringe at what my life could had ended up to.

Shortly before coming to the US (Note: This is only my second year of university due to the fact that a 2-year military service was mandatory in my country at the time) I 'found' the 4-Hour Work Week, along with a series of other entrepreneurial books, websites, and resources; guess which other book related to this forum I had 'found.' Needless to say, the way I view life has never been the same since.

As any young man with delusions of grandeur, I action-faked my way through my military career and the first two semesters in the US as a college student. Being aware of the possibilities available to me, I called my family after going to university for just one semester explaining to them that studying was just not something I wanted to do, and believed that there were far better things to do with my time. Given my parents' way of thinking though, dropping out was not exactly an option for me. Then I though to myself: "Wait, this might not be that bad after all."

The way I see it, although operating a business while in university might not be the best thing, it certainly is possible, and gives me about 3 years to figure out how to become financially independent. Do I like it? For the most part, no. However, I have been able to pick up a useful thing or two from some of my classes which should should come in handy down the road.

I am now in the process of starting my own eCommerce business. My familiarity with WordPress and website design, as well as my experience in copywriting accumulated from freelancing, and not to mention all the golden knowledge acquired through @eliquid 's "Paid Advertising Crash Course," are more than enough for me to get on this path that I have delayed for so long.

However, I am in need of some guidance. What I want to do is build not just a store, but a brand around a single-product or series of similar/related products. After weeks of listening to people's problems, searching this forum, looking up products featured on Shark Tank, and frequently checking out crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, I found out a product that could possibly gain some traction if marketed correctly. The product is a hand-held electric kitchen appliance, which allows the user to perform some basic food-prepping actions with little effort. These features, along with an attractive (and somewhat colorful) design not often seen in kitchen appliances, is what I intend to offer to my customers. Currently, there are a number of similar products on the market (all sold by big companies), but none of them are able to perform all the functions of my appliance, and honestly, they all look boring and uninteresting. This fact, coupled with aggressive paid advertising and possibly a crowdfunding campaign (not so much for the money, but for the exposure) are how I am planning to sell my invention. If the first product does reasonably well, I have a few ideas on how to make an improved version of it, and possibly extend some of its functionality while maintaining or improving its aesthetic value. From there on, I can possibly offer worldwide shipping (initially the product will only be available in North America), and even try to get into some big retail stores.

Although I already have some finished designs from an industrial designer I hired online (non-disclosure agreements are key when doing this) I am having doubts in terms of the (relatively) long-term lifespan of this business due to the low Customer Lifetime Value involved, as well as the fact that kitchen appliances are not exactly that exciting. My product is like one of those things that you buy once and never think of again until at least a few years down the road when they get kinda old or start to break down. Therefore, constantly getting New Customers will be key in increased profits.

So...after the long introduction and my tedious descriptions I have a question to ask you:

What do you think?
Welcome.

I like non-sexy products or services. People add value and get paid for the most innocuous little inventions.

I love repeat business (and referrals). Have a look at @eliquid's SaaS AMA thread for sections about LTV, churn, etc. To win at paid advertising it helps to be able to spend more per sale, and a higher LTV allows this.

While you're starting out is it possible to make a sale earlier if you sold something simpler?
 

smark

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Oct 25, 2017
95
210
152
Limassol, Cyprus
Welcome.

I like non-sexy products or services. People add value and get paid for the most innocuous little inventions.

I love repeat business (and referrals). Have a look at @eliquid's SaaS AMA thread for sections about LTV, churn, etc. To win at paid advertising it helps to be able to spend more per sale, and a higher LTV allows this.

While you're starting out is it possible to make a sale earlier if you sold something simpler?

Thanks for joining in @Andy Black! Your insightful threads have taught me a lot the past months while reading the forum, and for that I am grateful.

It's funny that you mentioned @eliquid 's Saas AMA thread, because I was planning to read through it after noticing all the traction it has been getting in the forum lately.

I like non-sexy products/services too. But the "problem" with my current product, is that the only repeat customers I'll be able to get will be either people who want to re-purchase my product (for whatever reason), OR them purchasing some of the attachments that can be used with my product which extend its functionality as a food prepping appliance. Either way, customer LTV is still not that high. This might be fine in the long-term for a company with a big budget selling hundreds of products, but not me.

As far as selling something simpler, this will be my goal after trying to get as much sales as possible with my current product. I have no experience with eCommerce whatsoever other than the research I've done, so after sales of this product start dying out I'll find something simpler to sell and put all of my newfound knowledge and experience there.

Also, is anyone aware as to whether I can sell a design patent if for example a company is interested in my product after sales start decreasing?
 
Last edited:

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