Short History of Twoodie part 2 March 23 2016, 0 Comments
This was written a while back, but I didn't want to put it up until I had calmed down...
Phase 9: Feedback & Failure
I remember the day that I allowed myself to realise that we were not going to sell out, that this meant that one or both of us had to get jobs, that we couldn’t raise real money and that by all metrics Twoodie was a failure.
We just about made it to launch and got marketing sets out there, we fixed a million problems, I deprived myself of sleep, friends and any interest beyond the business. I willed it, I wished it and I begged in my prayers for it to work but it didn’t… immediately. On that day I speak of I was so distraught that I just sat in bed and cried. I tried to continue working, to write to press and bloggers and people that could help Twoodie but I couldn’t see through the tears and it felt like my heart was being wretched out of my chest, like the worst PMS feeling ever. It was this weird sensation of knowing that you are crazy and you see things that don't actually exist. My ambition clouded my view of reality, or so I thought.
At this time Steven was unable to help or console me. I was just on another planet of depression and sadness. So he did what he has NEVER done before and cold wrote to 4 or 5 design websites about Twoodie. He kept working while I felt sorry for myself and dozed away so much self inflicted pain.
Iteration: no more phases, just inch by inch progress
When we were back in Melbourne we had an unexpected sales bump driven from one of the websites, DesignMilk, that Steven had written to on that fateful day. We suddenly got orders from strangers as far afield as Monaco and Tasmania and as cool as the Australian cricket captain. We received over 6000 likes and the article was reposted to Producthunt and Yahoo Japan amongst others. Really, we got a glimpse of how the web works, or is supposed to work.
We also did a sense check on what was really possible given the challenges we had at the end of 2015.
In the end the granular feedback on Twoodie and the first product was really positive: people bought as many as 10 Twoodies at once, 70% of the time they bought repeatedly, we had famous and shy people send us pics and videos of their children and perhaps most surprisingly we learnt that Twoodies are not just for 0-2s but playful minds of all ages. We had a 47 year old lady buy them for herself.
So I learnt to be more patient and set less Black&White goals. One of us is still going to need to get an income. It’s going to be hard to sell this inventory but if we can do it we will have cashflow and likely be able to raise funding to build a real brand.
Twoodie is just going to keep trying and keep moving forward. I believe that we are creating an organic toy market and a new way of doing business in this space. It’s not some small boutique brand, plaything or self indulgence. Actually it’s a big hairy audacious and infinitely possible dream for a better future. We’re going to get out there, tell our story and not apologize for believing there are other people that are JUST LIKE US.