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Thread: Wristbands Have Arrived!

  1. #31

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    Apologies for bumping such an old thread, but I have to get some things off my chest because I think about this project every few days, the mistakes I made, and what I've learned. I'd like to get it out of the way with some apologies for the first e-commerce venture I made.

    [1] Flaw in the general idea. I apologize for thinking plastic wristbands were comparable to a hand-made armband. For an individualistic movement showing resistance, there should never have been a mass-produced icon. Further, arguing we should be subtle was a mistake. While I think they do fill a niche where it'd be unreasonable to wear a large white armband, it should not have been promoted as an alternative. I don't think these ever should have been sold, although there was enough support for profit. Adam Kokesh's armband idea was far more radical, eye-catching, and ultimately would have been multitudes more successful at raising awareness. I definitely apologize to Kokesh for having a heated argument with him over that.

    [2] Flaw in design. Like Cowlesy said above, not paying the extra for the ink-injected text was a huge mistake, and I apologize for it. I did not have money at the time and was only able to buy what I did off a loan. On top of that, I did not know if I'd be able to cover costs. If I did something like this over again, I would invest a much larger sum in initial inventory purchase because ultimately, it was a very minor factor in the price. I ended up throwing out ~1/3 of the bands because I didn't believe they deserved to go through the company's QC. Shipping was the lion which needed to be tamed, not the product costs. These could have been healthfully sold @ $3 shipped each if I applied what I now have and know.

    [3] Flaw in shipping. These should have been shipped every day, not once or twice a week. But, haha, you know... I only had a Learner's Permit at the time and didn't know about USPS's free pick-up service.

    [4] Flaw in software configuration. I should have tested and improved the system which handled purchases. Overall, it wasn't too horrible. There was only one customer who didn't receive product out of ~50 unique customers. However, there was one critical mistake I made by not ensuring customers received order confirmation immediately after their purchase and instead did it manually when I got around to it.

    [5] Mistake in how I handled emails. No email addresses were ever given out, but there should have been confirmation a customer wanted to be added to an e-newsletter (actually, I think there may have been now that I think of it, but I deleted the newsletter, so Idunno for sure). While I didn't utilize the e-newsletter too much, I did go through all the receipts (along with receipts and emails from other projects) to promote a money bomb for Ron Paul's campaign. I'm no longer convinced the impoliteness was justified and apologize for it.

    [6] Mistake in where I purchased from. I purchased the large quantity of wristbands from a corporation which pays taxes. Ultimately, the taxes paid are negligible because product cost was ultimately a very low factor, but if I did it over, I would either hire an individual to make a product or do it myself. At the very least, I would keep it local.

    [7] Mistake in cleaning up an image I posted. You know if you saw it. My computer screen at the time had very low contrast, so I couldn't tell the difference between white and slightly-off-white. I was amused and horrified when I first saw it on a better monitor.

    [8] Mistake in priorities, not keeping Slave Uprising popular by narrowly focusing on SUW. While I should have been promoting the idea behind SU, I was promoting wristbands pretty exclusively. Big mistake which cost long-term revenue with worse consequences aside.



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  3. #32

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    Any estimates on the impact the wristband project has had thus far? /curious
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  4. #33

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    There's lots of new folks and new ideas on the forum this year. I'm glad you posted a "lessons learned"; your experience can greatly benefit those getting into the game today.
    Let's move forward to the Constitution.. I am the new GOP. I stand with Rand.

  5. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    Any estimates on the impact the wristband project has had thus far? /curious
    Right around 0, I'd guess. The first, and biggest, problem is that the Slave Uprising project died as a whole. It was a great idea without enough follow-through. People like Adam Kokesh did a great thing by supporting the project and trying to have us follow-through in an even bigger way.

    The idea is ALWAYS more important than the product. Always. JoshLowry, who was the major idea-man in the whole thing, gave us all a great platform to produce some great things with, but there was too much doubt and not enough enthusiasm. By all means, it should have been a major underground message being spread around, but we fucked up. The greatest mistake, I think, was simply trying to promote wristbands themselves. Kokesh gave us a great idea through in-your-face armbands he made himself, and I now think that's definitely the direction we should have been going. Loud, in-your-face advertising which shows this is so much more than a safe business venture. Yes, there are plenty of people who would have done nothing at all if not wear wristbands, but I'm quickly moving over to the camp where doing just about nothing when there are so many options to do great world-changing things is pretty much not worth doing -- a type of feel-good "patriotism."

    I'd like to end that and move this entire movement in a more radical, passionate direction where we try to convey message, NOT A PRODUCT, to people. I think I really fucked up with this project, but there's a lot I can learn from, and people who helped me along the way did not inspire failure, but improvement.

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