I bought this reasonably cool pair of board shorts for surfing this summer.
They cost me a whopping $80. Which is what I call ‘insult pricing’. It’s a pretty simple equation actually. The key players in the surfwear industry (Billabong, Quiksilver and Ripcurl) charge these prices because they can. They don’t have any ‘credible competitors’ in this board short subsegment of clothing.
In recent years surf brands have been hit by many competitors in other areas of the market which they used to ‘own’. Especially in t-shirts, from the myriad of streetwear companies, to the uber cool on-line players like Neighborhoodies and Threadless. Interestingly the shorts in this photo would cost >$5 to make. There is significant margin in the product. Such high margins often begets competitive entry into the market place.
The arrogance of said surf brands has invented an opportunity for a nimble entrepreneur to steal part of this market. And the way to do it is exactly the way Threadless have. Go online and build a community to design the uber cool boardshorts / shorts and sell them globally at a fair price. In fact, surf wear is so clichéd and over branded these days that I avoid wearing it. Most of the designs are very rank and have really lost their edge. I only use surf brands for surf equipment. The only reason I bought the pair in the photo is ‘lack of options’.
If anyone knows some one already doing it – let me know
If anyone wants to do it – let me know as well. I think it’s worth ‘investing in’.
While thinking about web front page design, yesterday Cyber Guru Ross Hill had this to say:
“To find a needle in a haystack, one doesn’t have to burn the haystack, just make sure the needle lies on top of it.
If our people can’t find it. Then quite simply it isn’t there. It doesn’t exist, and they may not return. After all that hard work to get them here, that’d be a real shame.
This is why our homepage designs must rock
The thing that impressed me the most was her business card. Job Title = Goddess of Revenue. Love it.
So it’s a bit hard to read above, but being a ‘Goddess of Revenue’ says so much. The first thing it says is that Kim ‘gets it’. It says she knows that fun is important, but revenue is vital.
Then on the flipside is more useful stuff.
The kind of stuff which just maybe gives her a permanent place in someones wallet or purse. A good chunk of simple, yet useful information.
It’ll be handy next time in Sydney on business…. and her simple business card made me remember Kim, it even got her a story on this here blog.
If we are going to the trouble of printing business cards – we should make it worth remembering.
There is plenty of buzz around UGC (User Generated Content), Crowd Sourcing and Mass Customization at the moment. And the truth is I am a sucker for it. I embrace it, love it and really believe it is an economic revolution. In fact many of the new features we’ve implemented on rentoid have been at the suggestions of our members…. but there is a downside.
We need to be aware that not every consumer knows what they are talking about, and not every idea we get from the crowd happens to be a good one. The crowd can get it wrong occasionally. Yep – there are people out there with ideas that just might send you broke if implemented.
If we are building a forum for people to create & share their own stuff on like Youtube or Etsy – that’s when it’s a cool idea to let the crowd take over. That’s when it’s cool to build the forum and get the hell out of the way. But when it comes to them designing and creating products for others – we need to keep our heads. In fact if there is one piece of advice startup blog can give is know which business you are in:
A) Are you building a forum for them to connect on?
B) Are you building a product for them – with their input?
If you are doing the latter – that’s when you need to be wary of the Homer mobile.
Instead, what we need to do when we want the crowds input is look to our “lead user group”. The lead user group is our base of fans who are knowledgeable, expert, style leaders or simply influential. These are the people we need to listen to when UGC is part of the mix, but not the whole story.