; CONCEPT TO CREATION: (Opposite) TV-B-Gone
design drawing. (Left) Employees at a factory in China
assemble the TV-B-Gone. “Assembly lines can be difficult places to work,” says the author. “If it’s important
for you to not add more misery into the world, please
choose a CM that treats its people well.” (Above) The
finished TV-B-Gone, ready for the world.
need to know that your fulfillment house
is doing its job. I went through three before
I found a match — the right products were
getting to the correct customers on time.
Customer support — Be ready to solve
problems for people who buy your product. To minimize the amount of support
needed, make sure the instructions are
plainly visible on the packaging.
You’ll probably want to hire someone to
answer the flood of emails you’ll receive.
I have a set of answers to frequently asked
questions, all of which are on the FAQ page
of the TV-B-Gone website ( tvbgone.com).
Publicity — How do you get the word out
about your cool product? Advertising is
expensive. But there’s free advertising
that’s actually better. It’s called “news.”
Media outlets are always looking for content. Give it to them, and they’ll love you.
And if one high-profile website or magazine or radio or TV program picks up your
story, then others jump on board, and soon
the world is talking about your project!
MITCH’S ONE RULE OF
This is the most important paragraph of
this entire article. This rule was developed
with a considerable amount of pain on my
part and I implore you to take it to heart.
Here is my one rule: Only do business with
people you like!
This rule applies to all aspects of doing
business. It applies to employees and
contractors that you may want to hire. It
applies to the people lending — or even
giving — you funding. It applies to companies who provide services for you, and to
people who want to give you publicity. And
it even applies to your customers.
With my TV-B-Gone business I pay all 12
people who help me. I get what remains.
It turns out that this is just barely enough
for me to live on. And that’s great: I make
enough money to live a life I love! ;
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