Fools and their money
yeah! invest in a luxury electric scooter start-up!
But, maybe, I'm wrong? Maybe this ingenious device is really a way to shape the gene pool? Remove the rich stupid ones?
In a savage blow to the notion of nominative determinism, e-scooter startup Unicorn is shutting down after blowing all its money on Facebook ads. Unicorn was the brainchild of Tile co-founder Nick Evans, who wanted to capitalise on the scooter trend that’s presently rippling across the US and Europe. Although it’s possible to …
"a good product sells itself, every single time."
"the marketplace is filled with inferior products that succeeded due to superior sales and marketing."
These two statements aren't mutually exclusive. Just because you can sell crap with a marketing campaign doesn't mean that a good product doesn't sell itself. Your "Well, no" is not justified.
Sent from Linux, a good product, and not, say, windows 10, which has a large marketing budget.
I use/manage Linux,Windows 7 &10, and Macs pretty much every day. Doesn't matter how "great" the non-Windows OS may be, I don't envision ever not using Windows simply because of the vast amount of software we've invested that's made for it. So IMO, there's a third component to market success and that's the product's stickiness (the cost of changing).
There are cost/benefit ratios for tangible direct costs, tangible indirect costs (e.g. cost of maintenance, cognitive load, opportunity costs), and a wide array of intangible costs, most of which are psychological factors which are often disconnected from, even opposed to, material benefit.
And purchasers rarely manage to acknowledge even a significant fraction of those costs, much less take them into account.
That's why we have behavioral economics. Some economists finally admitted that people are not rational economic actors.
" a good product sells itself .." I worked for two companies that seemed to have good products that believed that BS ( Sun Micro, QNX Software). Both floundered into dust before being sucked up into vacuums. I worked for one fruit vendor that knew that with good sales and marketing you can even sell a book about your sales and marketing.
AGPSI has to be about the stupidest traps that any engineering company can fall into; and so many do because they are dumb enough to believe everybody is just like them. At one point QNX was penning an advert (I hope it never came to life) with a tagline about QNX being the OS for people who knew how to program their VCR. Can you imagine? From that moment on, all my e-devices flashed 12:00 unless they could figure it out themselves. Sadly, the fruit vendor was the one that figured that out. sigh.
Sadly, if one company has marketing then every company must have marketing. Because if Company A says "Company A is brilliant and Company B steals your blood" and Company B says nothing to refute that then Company A is right (in the public perception).
It's stupid and annoying but it's the way things work. People are surprisingly easily herded.
'They didn't see that coming? I have it on good authority the weather will soon start getting warmer once again. Some people even claim to be able to predict these changes with some degree of accuracy.'
Maybe they could foresee the nuclear winter the Orange Shitgibbon might inflict on the world?
Well that will be jolly useful, no need for Greta and we could sort of solve a few other problems at the same time. (P.S. Should anyone find the plans for the real BMD (and it is apparently available here
if you can find the right one, that would also be useful.
When I recollect the past, the other star of "Bedtime for Bonzo" might have made a good president, compared to the current incumbent. That is, if you didn't object to him not having a tail.
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Hey Cheech (Harold), do you think people would like a lo-rider scooter.
Yeah man (kumar), we could make them wicked cool.
Lets get some money and rock this thing.
Hey Chong (kumar), do we know how to make those scooters?
No man, we smoked all the cash. I don't think we can make them.
Yeah man, uh, lets move on.
the Lexus of two-wheelers,
They should have ignored Facebook, and maybe advertising entirely, since Good Wine Needs No Bush, and just concentrated on the City and Wall Street plus Park Lane and whatever equivalent rich district New York has, using 'influencers' and gossip to inculcate the idea that the truly successful and the rich beyond belief desire no object so much as an exclusive top-of-the-range scooter to advertise their wealth.
BTW a number of recent start-ups here have been headed for 'partial refunds': not in the economic class that spends freely, but don't people ever resent giving over a wodge of money, and in return receiving a small percentage back along with a letter of apology ?
You can only do your marketing through "influencers" if you have an actual product.
If there's no product, then there's nothing for them to pretend to ride in their Youtube videos. Unless you've got sufficient cash to fake things, like Magic Leap.
So when you're needing their pre-order cash in order to make the thing - then you're stuck with marketing.
Income is from pre-orders and grants. Expenditure is down payment for manufacture and advertising.
"Competition from others made it more and more difficult to sell scooters." Never saw that one in the business plan ...
This is a classic take the money and run ... the bosses have had their cash so who gives a monkeys about the punters.
Now, anyone fancy investing in a Speccy clone I'm developing?
I don't know how he took the money, but this is a classic error on Kickstarter. You need to set your cash target at 20% more than you need to make the products, so you can cover unexpected problems. And also so you're not scrabbling around trying to raise extra cash halfway through the process.
Whereas a lot of people set their target deliberately low, to guarantee they'll get funded and then hope that the extra they can make from stretch goals will take them over the line of the actual cash they need. Plus of course the hope that the success of reaching the funding goal will generate buzz and more orders - that "this project funded in 2 hours" marketing bullshit that's so common on these kind of projects.
That's assuming the fundraisers are honest of course. They're the ones who then desperately try to make the thing for the next year with only 2/3rds of the budget they need - and almost have a nervous breakdown doing it.
Then there's the ones who get the money and then worry about what to do next - while making sure they spend a good portion of it while they're doing this thinking. The types who claim to have a fully working prototype that just needs production funds - but then spend a year on "product development" and never actually get round to actual manufacturing.
Kickstarter and in particular Inidiegogo don't seem to mind too much which types they get.
That's pretty much all it is these days, lots and lots (and lots and lots) of project owners never even consider making what they want to make on the funds raised, which would be a small fraction of a realistic budget anyway - they just want the metrics to throw at people with actual money to prove existing interest. That is of course not at all how they're selling it to the punters on KS, and frankly I find this business model incredibly disgusting...
1. USD150,000.- is a pittance for a business of any significance. Am I to understand that they had at least an order of magnitude more cash than that from other sources?
2. Facebook is a TERRIBLE place for advertising, according to personal experience of two sources close to me. One source reports that after a low-volume advertising trial their visibility dropped far below pre-advertising levels shortly after they stopped paying. Neither of the two sources I know made any conversions from Facebook advertising, so it was literally burning money to them.
3. Saying that as the year went on it kept getting colder is either the pathetiquest™ excuse north of the Equator I've heard so far this week, or legendarily poor planning.
4. Advertising a product that does not (yet) exist is a controversial but not uncommon technique to gauge market interest. But doing so with customers' money sounds way too close to fraud for a sensible person to even consider it.
Of all the stupid things to include, that takes the cake alongside integrated GPS.
Just put a cradle on the handlebar to hold the phone the user already has that has GPS in it already. Add wireless charging to it since you're selling to the hipsters.
As far as locking, a nice, solid, physical lock is the only solution.
Making things ... is hard. Selling things ... is hard. If you outsource both, what value are you adding?
The best place for a maker startup is a site where people pledge money. That will gauge interest, set your budget and help determine whether the cost of manufacturing is viable. Advertising is for later when you scale up.
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