iPad glass broken

It’s always interesting to see new business ideas popping up. Entrepreneurs all have different reasons to start their business. Some go by the text book and look for low competition and high margins. Others want to be truly innovative an

d othe

rs just do what they love most, whatever that might be. All reasons are good reasons as long as it leads to a profitable business.

Apple’s huge success with all of their products has created a new segment of new businesses. It is fascinating to see all these companies that have found a new market due to all these phones and tablets from Apple. Many of these offer accessories that we now find neccessary to protect our dear assets. There are cases, keyboards and shields to name just a few.

A lot of small shops have also started because of iPhone’s biggest flaw – the screen and its tendancy to break far too easily. As a little tip to others, leaving an iPad on the roof of the car and then drive away turns out to be a bad idea. It still works so I turned it on and Googled “iPad glass broken” and that’s when it came clear what a big business this has become. It’s qite clear that I was far from alone, and luckily enough their are companies willing to take me out of my misery.

iphonereparation.se on Odengatan in Stockholm came to my rescue. When I got there I didn’t see a lonely guy with nothing to do. Instead I find 10 people, all focused on their current task. And all they do is to fix Apple products. so in Stockholm alone there is a market for at least three companies that can live off people dropping their phones (Or driving away from them…).

I’m the first person to praise Apple, ther products and what they have done in terms of changing the way we can use our phones. And many are the times that I wonder how in the world phones like Nokia (ow at last they seem to be taking up the competition) can sell any smart phones at all, when iPhone’s and Android’s offer so much more for the consumer. But I then forget one thing. I had several nokias and several sonyEricsson’s before switching to the iPhone. I don’t know how many times I dropped them, but they were many. and not once did they break. Three years living with Apple products, I have now experienced my third broken glass. That’s not all good – except for all these new businesses.

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Twitter addict, but what shall I say?

Just like I started blogging, I also started using Twitter. I was really hesitant but wanted to really give it a try. I can’t be a consultant in the area without being able to tell what Twitter is about. I signed up years ago, but never started f

ollowing people, nor did I tweet myself. Why should I? I had zero followers. A bit of a catch 22. It’s kind of silly Tweeting out in cyber space, with no one listening.

I started following some entrepreneurs, some cool people, some Swedish friends and, of course, Britney Spears. After installing Tweetie (iPhone Twitter app) I had a new friend. I log in and I get an update about things. What was really interesting was that after a few weeks it became easier eye glancing today’s tweets and depending on the amount of time I had, I got faster at finding the Tweets that I wanted to read.

At the same time I tested some Tweeting of my own. I tested some tweets referring to my blog. Some funny stuff and some retweeting of others’ Tweets. But the more I Tweet, the less I feel I have anything to Tweet about. Although I am getting increasing value in the Tweets I read, my own just aren’t interesting.

Now I am getting a bit of stage freight. I now have 38 followers. From from my goal of a thousand. But now, someone might actually be reading. Now I have to say some smart stuff so they retweet, or at least don’t unfollow me, god forbid. What started out as an experiment and a game is now turning into a competition. And that’s dangerous. If it’s a competition; I don’t want to lose.

I better find my Twitter rasion d’ĂȘtre soon.

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My Biggest Mistake

– Do you want to get really really rich?

This was the beginning of a very troubling relationship. I should of course have just cut him off, but being an entrepreneur means you’re often searching these special things that might become the Nex

t Big Thing. So I listened. His idea was, and actually still is, a great idea. The person who was going to bring it to life, was the problem. As well as our history.

The reason he was, at all, on my Messenger list was that he had been chosen to finish a project I had regarding cleanup of some code. The beauty of freelance sites is that you pay after job is completed which, in theory, means you don’t take any risk. But this guy sweet talked me into making an advance payment. I was going to get a huge discount and it was all going to get done at once. Three weeks later the project was not even started. The developer was deep into dept and my 700 dollars was not going to help him long term. Another two weeks later he was broke again. At this point, we hardly knew each other. I was sending daily emails wondering what was happening, and I was told that all was progressing well. After the three weeks I was given the truth and there I was. I had paid 700 dollars and had received nothing. 700 dollars is not the end of the world, but I should have left it there. I should never have listened to him again, unless he had finished the first project. But that’s when he sent that little piece of text.

Do you want to get really really rich?

I answered yes. Anything else would have been a lie, but I said something like “but not with you”, but I said I’d hear him out. Then he started talking about this idea of a new freelancing idea that would combine project posting with listing of scripts. Anyone who’s into the field can see it as a marriage between Rentacoder and Hotscripts. The idea is brilliant. I really think it is. So I decided to invest. I actually decided to invest in a guy who had delivered nothing.

The irony is that the only reason I said yes, is because he actually had delivered nothing. And I had paid. This was my chance to make up for my loss. Stupid stupid me. It’s like standing by the gambling machine after 100 consecutive losses thinking “Now I am one step closer to a win”. Even though it’s true, it’s stupid. More accurately I would say: If the guy failed you the first time, he is more than likely to fail you again.

I’ll give you the full story. The price I had to pay for a third of the business was just so tempting, that I felt I had to give it a shot. I knew it was like a lottery ticket, but I had to try. He also had tons of ideas how the site was going to reach out to the development community. That’s what he said. It all sounded quite reasonable.

One month later the project was 25% done. Now what? If he had only completed 0% again, I would have bailed out. But now that the project was started I had the choice of losing all, or risking a bit more and get it all done.

Every month I heard the same. “It’s a lot more difficult than expected”. “I had to rewrite a few things but now the system will be really awesome”. Before the site was done I had paid a fortune, or 14.000 dollars to be exact. Sure, my stake was now at 75%, but that doesn’t really matter. 75% of zero is still zero.

Well at least the site was now done. Time to focus on marketing. And that was not going to be a problem. He had written some kind of robot that would auto-post forum entries in Yahoo groups and another places, so that “every single developer” will know about the site in no time. Wow! What a brilliant idea.

The idea was great, but it was nothing but just that – an idea. It didn’t work. The Brilliant-Yahoo-group-auto-posting-robot-application didn’t prove to be that great. It actually didn’t work at all. Well that’s not fair. It worked on the first group, but then apparently someone at Yahoo had experienced this before, so all coming posts were declined. Oops.

Now what?

That’s pretty much the end of the project. Now he was out of ideas. All that talk from the start that he said he would do, he just didn’t do. He was so certain it would all work out by itself. Nothing works by itself. Nothing. Not that I saw the amazing PR guy in him, but surely did I think that after spending 12 months on an idea, that he would at least try and manually post some information in forums and groups? Or at least come up with an idea of a banner? Or just speak to his friends and ask them to join. But unfortunately not.

The interesting thing is that this is all too common. All focus on the product and no focus on how to get it to market. By the time I initially invested in the project, I had not understood how crucial this is. Otherwise I would have focused a lot less on product and only checked if he had ideas of how to get users.

Anyone interested in running the above project is more than welcome to get in touch.

An expensive lesson, but my most important one. On the bright side I now know that it costs 14 thousand dollars to learn that it’s all about sales. Perhaps one day I’ll find it worth the cost.
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