Posted by Roy Mackey on Sunday, January 1, 2012
Not sure if you have heard of the Aptera or not. If not it is one of the coolest and funnest looking cars ever. Ok maybe not a testosterone beast but still a very new and refreshing concept to say the least. Designed and built by visionaries obviously. It was a car of the future that was always talked about in those magazines from back in the fifties. A car that never did arrive... even today. This one coulda been it though. After all It is clean quiet, electric, cool, truly modern and fun. Looked like more like an airplane than a car. It was different and stood out like no tomorrow unlike like all the rounded boxes you see on the road today. Anyway after a long story the Aptera is dead… at least that’s what I recently read.
What happened? Well herez my totally un-educated, biased, moronic, insultive and foolish opinion. It was killed!!!...
By whom you ask? Was it the oil companies, or Bin Laden, (you do know he’s still alive right), or George Bush, or The New World Order, or the group of conspirators who put weird marks and drawings on the US dollar in attempts to control our minds? No, as much as I hate to say it, none of the above. No it was killed by "The American Rock Star" mentality. I know sounds strange but true. You see every up and coming company these days, American or not, wants to be like rock stars… or even better yet like Steve Jobs! (since you don't have to know how to dance or stuff foam down your pants)
Yes, believe it or not, most new companies long to have their CEO down dressed in old jeans and black t shirts up on stage announcing the release of their latest and greatest product. The crowd is full of such notables as the Queen of England, Alice Cooper, and Albert Einstein all waiting in excited anticipation. Out the back door to the stage is Oprah and other such types clawing away hoping to get the inside scoop in order to boost their TV ratings. Mr. Cool and CEO of the company, humbly walks around on stage casually pointing out the features of their new release to the gasps, ooooh's, aaaaahs and clapping of the crowd. On the day of the release world news is reporting the sales figures of the new said product to be in the millions. Investors are busy patting themselves on the back at the wiseness of their choice. Life is good for everyone.
This is all a fine vision and part of what the American Dream is all about. Where the trouble lies with this is in the fact that Apple like a lot of other companies had to go through a little scraping and scratching for a few years to get to that point. Of course this is the type of stuff no Rock Star CEO wants to do any more. Things like build a few cars… sell a few cars… build a few more cars… sell a few more cars… and so on. By refining as you go it makes the product better and better at the same time building your cash flow and company. Eventually, and hopefully sooner than later, sales start to go through the roof and the company takes off.
Most people/companies today though want to get into the game, step up to the plate with the bases loaded and drive a home run first try. This is nice, and I am sure it has happened before, but realistically almost never. Even the iPhone was launched from Apple's well established base. Anyway once the company’s CEO starts to see it is not going to play out that way they turn to their accountants for confirmation. Since most North American accountants are Asian spies sent here to kill businesses and ship the remains over seas the story unfolds on target. The accountant’s show that the business will not work based on their math and calculations thus proving the CEO"s dream of pulling a "Steve Job" ooooh and aaaah presentation is not going to happen. Thus the CEO gives up. Next thing you know some over sea's company comes along and scoops up the remains of that American Dream and continues on. After all most of the bull work has been done by then and with cheap labor they can pull off some kind of cheap facsimile and sell it back to the original CEO… if he has a job by then.
It is not like these visionaries are stupid. Not even slightly the case. It is just that their expertise lies elsewhere being the visionaries that they are. This means they just aren’t seeing the whole picture. Not to mention they are are often too focused on watching Steve Jobs doing presentations on youtube for their inspiration. That inspiration takes them away from reality and when they see their vision is not going to unfold over night they just give up. This is too bad since they were so close. Visionaries like this are extremely intelligent but often not with all things, like for example growing a business. They often just get too impatient. They forget or never noticed that all great companies started small and worked their way up the ladder. Had they only held out just a little longer? Built a little cash flow and let it grow the story would unfold differently. Instead they let the results of some dumb marketing survey sway their direction. Some marketing company who goes around asking people who have nothing better to do but dumb product surveys what they think and the CEO takes it seriously!?!?!?
Most people don't realize this, (which is why 80% or so of all new businesses fail within the first year), but when it comes to new companies marketing does not sell products as much people sell products. Don't believe me then see what happens when someone like Marilyn Manson, the Dali Lama or Oprah Winfrey buys your "unknown" product and loves it. When you are a small company (and your product is actually good) you just need someone to buy it and then they will sell it for you. Mostly because they will rave about it to their friends. Strangely that can compound very quickly, as you already know if you have ever studied network marketing. And the best part is there is no "selling" involved, at least on your part!! In fact this is exactly how I managed to, so far, sell a thousand copies of my first self published book: A Fly in the Microwave...fun on the farm when no one's around, Only a couple percent of my total sales were actually through book stores! In fact I only ever had it in a couple of book stores to begin with. It has all been via word of mouth. People loving what they read and telling others. All which led to people knocking on my door or going to my website. www.burninggrass.com
Once your company gets bigger then you switch money from researching and developing product improvements over to marketing.(..unless of course you want to be like Apple and get really rich) After all accountants using numbers can prove to you that it is cheaper to just tell people that your product is better than to actually try and make it better. After all isn’t that what all the phone companies were doing before Apple came along and put two and two together… (hmmm....funny accountants never came up with that idea) Now because of that we have to listen to all these scrambling, Johnny come lately, phone companies going on and on about how their "New" smart phone is going to blow the iPhone out of the water...
Anyway just my two bits but either way for now the Aptera… one of my dream cars is DBL… dead before launch.