In the past year, the battle of smartwatch devices began. Crowd-funded start-up company Pebble Technology paved the way for a new development – smart technology that you wear on your wrist. Their pre-release of the Pebble has now been followed by Samsung’s ‘Galaxy Gear’, with speculation building over the date of Apple’s ‘iWatch’ launch and rumours that Google have also joined the race.
Posts Categorized: Crowdsourcing
The ‘Not so Secret E-Commerce Entrepreneur’ continues… It’s incredible that Pret a Manger’s™ founders Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalf started their company way back in 1986; “with no money”. Yet Pret was sold in 2008 for £345 million to Bridgepoint Capital.
Similarly Hertfordshire farmer, Will Chase started Tyrrell™ Crisps in 2002 on a shoestring – it has just been sold for £100 million to a luxury brand investor, Invescorp. Their fairy tale success was all about product, passion and proactive brand building strategies – despite a lack of early capital.
The ‘Not so secret diary of an E-commerce Entrepreneur’ continues… At last – the Seedrs crowdfunding starter flag gets waved next week.
And with it the 90-day race to raise £100,000 of capital for my E-commerce business, the Amano Tongue Cleanser, will be on. I figure it will be like a Formula 1 race – but with more excitement. Lets hope I don’t crash…
The ‘Not so secret diary of an E-commerce Entrepreneur’ continues… Marketing’s Holy Grail edged a little closer, thanks to the work of academics Chris Nosko and Steven Tadelis, of the Universities of Chicago and Berkeley.
Together with Thomas Blake of eBay, they have been working on an answer to John Wanamaker’s 19th century lament; “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted: the trouble is I don’t know which half”.
I found out today that the UKs ‘fastest growing’ crowdfunder, Seedrs has accepted my application to raise funds for my premium tongue cleansing brand on its site.
That’s great news.
Two great examples of this happened in the last few weeks with differing social media reactions:
1) This weekend Gordon Ramsay came to town. As part of a SingTel PR stunt he challenged Singapore’s famous hawker chefs to a “cook off” which resulted in free Michelin starred meals for thousands of people who had queued for up to 10 hours to be photographed near Ramsay
2) The McDonald’s Hello Kitty promotion has just finished thankfully as it resulted in riots and exasperation amongst Singaporeans desperate to add the ubiquitous smiling cat toys to their collection of other plastic memorabilia….
Either way I bet their rip roaring success is down more to the ‘traditional virtues’ of brand building – rather than a complex set of inventive digital coding steps. I say this because from time to time I get asked if I have any patents attached to the design of the AMANO Tongue Cleanser. The precise answer I give (after a slow intake of breathe) depends on how much I believe the questioner’s mind is set to ‘receive mode’.
What has the Statue of Liberty got in common with Kickstarter? Well in 1885 cash from more than 120,000 civic-minded Americans helped New York build the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty. That makes it the first record of ‘crowdfunding’ – comfortably beating Kickstarter by nearly 130 years.
Proving perhaps that not every good idea has been ‘discovered’ in the last 10 years. And to reinforce that point – I’m launching my e-commerce business, the Amano tongue cleanser – which is based on a 2,000-year-old Roman design for tongue cleaners. However, to pay for my slick digital and social media marketing campaign I first need to raise some finance. So I may need your help and advice (no please – put your wallets away for now)
Reading The Economist last year my attention was grabbed by these words of wonder from Aileen Lee, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins:
“E-commerce has now matured to a point where specialty online retailers with excellent supply chains can mint money from such targeted offerings”.
That was my wake up call.
Within weeks I had resurrected my 1990’s Amano tongue cleanser passion project, put to rest in the pre digital age, but now I was on a mission to seek out some of that digital gold dust.
The two-fold trust of Aileen’s point is that:
1. Globalisation enables products to be sourced far more cost effectively (I could say ‘cheaper’ but that is only part of the story)
2. Plus websites and digital/social media enables the global footprint of a product to be far wider. It is as easy now for someone in Myanmar to see your London based product website, as it is someone in Shoreditch.
It can add up to better margins from a far larger potential target market = ‘mint money’. Read more on Part 3: Alibaba and the 40 sourcing opportunities – Yahoo’s ace out of the hole…
I am about to start a new business venture, or to be more precise, I am going to re-launch a niche branded product, that I first put my heart and soul into in the 90s. Way back then I designed, commissioned the manufacture of, packaged, promoted and then sold this ‘niche product’ reasonably successfully in a number of retail stores and via mail order. All of this was done on a shoestring. This time around however I’m hoping for and expecting a better commercial result. The BIG difference between ‘the first time’ and ‘now’ is the advent of globalisation and digital marketing – and specifically e-commerce. Read more on Part 2: Blade Runner – in a digital age (The not so secret life of an e-commerce entrepreneur)…