It's Over!.... It's Over!!!
I swear never, ever to work in an office unless my family will starve if I don't. I can't believe that's how a "real" company works.
I mean how do they make any profit at all?
An obvious failure was the market research & marketing, as in I did
none of one and very little, very badly of the other.
I was convinced that people would buy what I was selling, simply
because that was all I knew how to do, & they had better otherwise I
was screwed. My mind was already made up what was being done, &
nothing except having no customers (which is what happened) would stop
Instead of selling people what I want to sell I should give them what
they want, easier said than done but that's a mistake I wont repeat.
And then the marketing, who was I targeting? where was I trying to
sell? I was looking for it in all the wrong places. No no traditional
marketing is for traditional businesses & business models. And even
then it's becoming less effective & more expensive. I did flayers,
giving them out on the street & putting them in peoples door's. It was
spam, physical spam & no one wanted it or read it.
The hughetrain & Cluetrain manifesto has something to say on how it
might be done in this age.
Automation, I didn't automate anything.
Everything was done by hand from creating a new website(for a
customer) to even answering email & transation processing. There were
o many tools I could have used, that I eventually learned of AFTER my
Even though I was studying programming & had done a whole year of it
my ability's & skills were so feeble that I couldn't put them to use.
I was competing in a technical market without any REAL technical
skills, all I had was some really terrible HTML knowlege.
So you've read what happened, and now lets look back to see where I
made (thats me not my wife) the stupid mistakes (my wife didnt make
I guess I'll start with the product, the package website. At the time
this had probably been done already, especially with blogging
services. So how did mine compare? In terms of style it it was pretty
terrible, here's an analogy.
Just because a person knows good music when he hears it doesn't mean
they know how to make good music.
And the same applies to good design/style, jsut because you know good
design/style doesnt mean you can create it.
I have great taste in music (IMHO), and I know good design & style
when I see it, but that doesn't make me a musician or designer.
So next time I'm making a website/service whatever I WILL HIRE A DESIGNER.
And was it easy for people to buy? No, it really wasn't. People had to
email me (so everything was done to my time not theirs), they had to
post me a cheque for payment. The whole transaction would take over a
week for each & every ingle case, thats not business on demand!
And all that for 30EUR, which takes me to another point, I was
competing with free here (blogger), and what I did was NOT better than
what was available elsewhere.
Turns out that it's not actually true (according to this post )
It was a rumor, ha I got duped.
Something on my work network has changed thats preventing me from
uploading picture's, posting to my blog, and probably some other
So for now Ive managed to set it up so I can make posts from email.
That's also why theyre not lookingvery nice either.
Wow, it actually true, Christopher Walken (the actor) is running for
president (in the U.S.), this is the guy who's been in Pulp Fiction,
The Deer Hunter & others.
wow is all I've got to say, just wow.
Me and my wife donned our custom made t-shirts and set off, carrying a
bag of flyer's.
First we went to Grafton Street (a main shopping street in the city
center) and found at that time there were only French fan's walking
around before the rugby match, definitely not our customers.
So we then went on down to Mary Street/Henry Street and started giving
It was a heart breaking experience, no one wanted them, and the few
who did accept one usually threw it away.
2-3 hours later we gave up & went home, I don't know how anyone else
ever manages to do that for a living but giving out flyer's is really
soul killing when it doesn't work.
With my ego & confidence beaten from the previous day we set out for
Rathmines, a wealthy residential area & delivered the flyer's into
Harder work than giving them out on the street but much easier on the
ego, I think we only did 2 very VERY long streets before we went home.
We printed roughly around 6000 flyer's, my guess was we managed to
give away or deliver about 2000, not great but not too bad.
Then we waited (it was a Saturday & Sunday that we did our advertising spree).
I needed to let people know that I was open for business, so who were
Guessed just anyone without a website, I thought that by pricing
myself so low (30EUR remember) that I would find someone.
A granny, a schoolkid, some very small business whatever I didn't
care. I was targeting anyone & everyone.
I decided to make some flyer's & just hand them out to people, in the
city center, why not I thought.
My motto being (not officially but in practice) "cheaper than the
cheapest cheap, cheaper, still not cheap enough!", which looking back
turned out to be a good idea, I think one of the only things that I
We found a copy store where we had our flyer's made (actually it was
an A4 sheet, with 6 flyer's printed on it, we cut them up later) I
think that cost us about 30EUR or there abouts.
So we just needed to hand them out.
Before we did that though me & my wife made t-shirts to wear while we
were doing it, the total cost of our marketing effort being less than
EUR50 not bad (that's right, it wasn't bad it was terrible).
Next we let the world know about our product.
So I had my idea, now all I needed was to go & do it.
I went down to the company registration office and started Iron Guard Limited,
actually it was about a month of filling out paperwork to get it
registered but we (me & my wife, but mostly me) got it done.
Then the summer came & I got to work on my website (I got a hosting
service for 100EUR per year with the name web-pulse.net).
Wanting to keep in the mood of having a job I got up at 8.30 and put
on a shirt & tie,
then I sat at my PC (in my living room) from 9-5pm writing all the
HTML by hand.
At the time I didn't like the tools available (Mozilla writer,Scream
etc, remember I was using Linux) so I wrote all of it by hand with a
For about 30 pages (about 5 pages for the site itself & then 25 templates).
I spent the whole week on the site, along with creating graphics using
the gimp (a free graphics tool).
Now you must remember I wasn't a graphics designer or a good web
designer either, and my only business experience was asking people if
they wanted fries with that?
So the quality of what I had done ,was questionable but as far as I
was concerned it was great.
I was feeling pretty good with myself, I wasn't sure if I could make
myself actually do any work at home and by the end of the week I had
the website finished.
Next came the business part, when I would tell the world about my idea
It was coming to the end of my first year in college (I study I.T.)
and I was just after learning how to write in HTML. At the time I
really really didn't want to work for anyone,
because the only experience I had was in fast food places (like
McDonnalds, Burger King & an seeminly endless line of chip shops).
I was, understandably sick of working with food but there was my
problem, anyjob (non food) I applied gave me the same answer "well
your only experience was with (fast) food, so I think you had better
stick to that".
I was getting desperate, newly married (12th of May previous) and
needed a job, true my wife had work & we were living with my dad so we
didn't pay rent but I needed work.
So here was the dilema, I needed work, but the only choices were with
fast food, which I didn't want to do. And I had the answer, work for
my self, with computers!
It was so simple, such a great idea it was perfect, all I had to do
was think of something I could do with computers.
And after just learning how to write HTML I guessed I'd do that.
My HTML skill's were'nt great so I couldn't charge a lot, and who
would want's a cheap website?
The package website!, a website for anyone, for just 30 Euro I would
create their own website from a choice of templates & designes, and
find them afree place to host it.
Great, I had an idea so all I had to do now was execute or so I thought.
Over the next few post's I'm going to talk about my first attempt at
starting a business, that failed, very quickly.
I'll explain what I did, & then talk about what I did wrong, and what
I learned (I hope).
It has come to my attention that there is a conspiracy to take over
mainland Europe using clones of me, one has been spotted in Germany,
pictures & a video of him dancing it's clear to see that he is a badly
done clone or my father was very "fruitful" when in Europe. Because
not only is the one in Germany reports
of a half German half French clone of me living in Paris (if I
remember correctly, I might not as I was up all last night working on
my final report).
So there are 2 known clones of me running around Europe,& causing havoc no doubt.