We know we could make money by selling dryer sheets. We know that people would buy them. They would buy them if only they could see the benefits of dryer sheets for dogs during thunderstorms.
However, our product is not yet ready for prime-time. We have a lot of work to do before we can sell dryer sheets for dogs during thunderstorms to the general public. We need to fill in the missing details, design the perfect packaging and get all the necessary approvals before we introduce our product into production.
In order to do this, we must first demonstrate that our product is better than it seems and truly meet people’s needs. And that means having a clear story which explains why we are different from everything else on the market. That’s what this post is all about!
We’re all familiar with the problem of getting clean clothes on the way to and from the gym, shower or fieldwork. The solution is a dryer sheet. There are many different kinds of dryer sheets, and some are better than others in a given scenario. But should you use one or not?
Sometimes people don’t know what they want, but assume they do. My own philosophy is that I start out by asking them: “What do you really need?” There are plenty of things people have been discovering when it comes to self care that make life easier than we ever thought possible, but I didn’t discover them until quite late in life (this was about 15 years ago), so I haven’t yet figured out that it would be a good idea to use a dryer sheet as part of my routine.
But then, there are other things that make life simpler than we think possible — like using a dryer sheet instead of waxing your car (because it will prevent rust). So, like most people who aren’t me (and even the ones who are), I am still discovering new things. And since these discoveries often come via trial and error, it is useful to be able to compare dryer sheets against each other in terms of their effectiveness when compared against waxing or polishing (not just their effectiveness with respect to taking care of laundry).
The most common form factor for this comparison is weight: when both problems are solved by one product form factor — say, a single sheet vs multiple sheets — its effectiveness relative to waxing/polishing becomes more clear. But other factors such as price also become important; when one product offers value while another doesn’t (and I believe there is evidence that shows this can happen), it makes sense to evaluate which product offers greater value overall.
A good dryer sheet will make cleaning clothes much easier; but how much easier? What else can you do with fewer clothes at home? What else do you want done at home? Can you live without your clothes for longer periods? This argument goes both ways: the best dryer sheets will make life easier; while those that don’t offer any real value tend not to be any better than ordinary cloths anyway (especially if they are pretty cheap).
So, based on what we know about using cloths t-shirts/dresses/pants etc., which ones have.
There are a lot of dryer sheets for dogs during thunderstorms out there, but not all of them provide any value to your pet. There are few things more frustrating than finding a large pile of small, flat sheets when you need something a bit larger. If you have a dog that runs in from the yard and needs to relieve itself in all sorts of weather, you may find yourself holding an empty dryer sheet for hours at a time.
In this post I’ll discuss one such business that does provide value — and why it is the best thing available on the market today: LaundryLint.com (pronounced “lint-nent”).
LaundryLint is just one of many sites out there vying for your business — though it has some things going for it:
It is located in San Francisco, which has very active tech startup communities;
It has an incredibly engaging and positive message which resonates with their target market (though they can be temperamental when they get emotional);
It is extremely low-cost: typically between $1-$3 per load; still cheaper than most other detergents. The main reason people buy dryer sheets for dogs during thunderstorms though isn’t to save money — it’s so they can feel good about themselves after spending an hour or two holding laundry while standing in the rain.
Here’s how LaundryLint does it: Have you ever tried running clothes through the dryer with both hands on the front panel? It takes some time and effort, but your clothes will come out clean. But if you have to put your hands where only one hand can reach, it takes even longer! A lot longer… And so do all those times you stand there holding laundry while standing in rain while your pants hang up to your knees! Perhaps we don’t want our clothes soaked when they come out?
Perhaps we don’t want our laundry ruined by standing around holding wet laundry while we wait (and surely if you are working long hours, doing other stuff too…) Perhaps we should just give up on our clothes? I certainly wouldn’t want my pants ruined! After all this time spent doing laundry in the rain when I could be sitting at home working on my laptop instead?! Should I just stop caring about my clothes – or maybe even stop caring about anything else too?! It doesn’t work like that!
Your product is the one thing you do best. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. And the better your product, the more likely your customers will tell others about it.
In this post I talk about how to focus on one thing at a time and make sure that it’s a very specific thing. It doesn’t really matter what you do to keep people interested in your product (though some of it will) — what matters is that what you do is exactly right for that thing. Once we have identified a single thing we want to focus on, we need to make sure that it works for us and our customers (not just for us). We need to make sure that the value proposition of our product fits with the customer’s needs, their price point, their location and how they use their products — not just with ours.
Here are a few things I think about every time I see something new:
1) Is this a good fit for my customer? They’re different from everyone else in so many ways; if they can’t find something like this online, maybe they’ll buy from me instead?
2) Is this good enough? How do I know exactly what my customer is going to need at this price point?
3) What makes it so great that customers will keep coming back even if my competitors are super awesome?
4) How can I make sure that whatever I build actually helps my customer be their most awesome self when using their products?
5) How can I apply these same principles in other areas of my business (like content marketing)?
6) Does this fit into my overall strategy and vision?
7) What makes this important enough for me to spend time figuring out if it’s right for me or not?
8) If there isn’t anything like this out there yet, does that mean I should try harder to invent or come up with something else entirely new or not?
9) Does this exist already but don’t know it because why would someone pay attention to something like this instead of me or other people already doing everything else perfect all day?
10) If not, why not?!
I live by these same principles now as well:
1.) As soon as possible: Don’t try too hard; just be perfect enough at being yourself that people will want to be you regardless of how much work you put into making yourself great!
2.) You’ve got to be willing to spend