一个新网络品牌的路径选择

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一个从业6年的老电商人终于创业了。做了个NOP。云科技感兴趣的是:为什么?

第一,选的是服装。因为够大。服装整个中国市场是7000亿,在所有品类里是最大的。淘宝上最大的品类也是服装。这里面2000亿是男装,5000亿是女装。而且整个服装市场在以年20%的速度增长。再说一句废话:越来越多的服装购买会转移到网上。现在顶多占30?

第二,规模够大的还有比如3C,医药,为啥不选这些偏要选服装?在标准品的网购产业链里,链主是零售商。因为标准品是拼价格,谁有规模谁就有低价,哪个零售商能卖货,哪个零售商就无敌。这个领域,3C是京东、家电是易购、书是当当、百货是沃尔玛投资了的一号店。连天猫都被追得上气不接下气,更别提新进入者了。

所以选择做非标准品。非标准品的链主是品牌商。谁手里有货,谁就是链主,这个掌握在品牌商手里。服装算是规模最大的非标准品了。NOP就要做一个“懂零售的品牌商”。

第三,服装里选男装而不是女装。男装的品牌相对少,销量集中,推出节奏比女装慢。女装品牌销量分散,推出速度快,要求高,这就不适合新企业去抢。还有,女装的退货率一般是男装的2倍,你懂的。最后,女装只吸引女性用户不能吸引男用户,因为男人基本很难帮女人决定该穿什么衣服。而男装可以吸引女性用户,因为男装销售额里有20%是女性买的,比如给老公、弟弟、父亲的礼物。有了女性用户,之后做女装品牌就有了天然的用户群。

第四,瞄准星巴克人群。星巴克人群的下面,是7/11人群。凡客占的就是7/11这个空间。意思是,买NOP的,就是去星巴克坐着喝咖啡的人。买凡客的就是去7/11买咖啡边走边喝的人。凡客的广告已经自己表白了,韩寒在路边摊喝粥,就是这个调调。至于更高端的咖啡喝法,暂且不说它。NOP全年的客单价接近300。据说这个数字两倍于凡客。就是星巴克跟7/11的差距。

第五,自己做设计。70%的网货不是自己去生产,而是去大集市淘货,大笔采购然后贴上自己的logo。对付小白是可以的。但要对付小资,不行。所以NOP自己招人做设计,商品设计号称是最大的部门。看在眼里、拿到手上要觉得不一样,要喜欢,要有分享的冲动。还在招人,要把设计做好。

第六,首批用户,从微博上来。NOP设计出货出来叫卖之前,就开通微博账号了。账号上29万个粉丝都是一个一个积累来的。先去看跟自己定位类似的其他微博账号,他们的粉丝就是NOP的目标人群。然后找个方法从他们那里拉粉丝。这个方法,属于NOP的绝招,勒令云科技不得公开。当然,无论什么方法,得让他们来到NOP页面后觉得NOP顺眼。NOP的微博内容很少谈自己的衣服,而是谈小资喜欢的房子、景色、iphone、生活,配上耐看的图片,精心调配的语言。到今天,NOP账号上仍然有80%是非广告的内容。当然,那剩下的20%广告,也是有小资调调的“广告即内容”。

结果是,起步时期NOP的销量有20%来自微博,后来没那么高了,但也非常高,是NOP最重要的抓新订单新用户的来源之一。然后有20%来自淘宝。

创业

创业和做人是一样的,1)抓对大方向,在正确的时间做正确的事情,2)做自己爱做并且擅长的,3)脚踏实地,动手实践,4)不断学习、修正、进步。

Your product sucks

“Your prod­uct sucks.”

A nearly 40 CEO with one suc­cess­ful com­pany under his belt can still find him­self in the pres­ence of those words. They hang in the air, hov­er­ing awk­wardly over the room, mak­ing every­one present a lit­tle more uncomfortable. This is the first time I meet Steve Jobs (and the most time we spent one on one) and here were are at the moment when the most dev­as­tat­ing words one can say to a founder are uttered.

Sure, the prod­uct is still some time away from release and this cour­tesy call should be returned with some help­ful feed­back as to what works and doesn’t but the word “suck” has the instant impact of putting a freeze on the meet­ing. What hap­pens next, though, is even more interesting.

Seething, the prod­uct owner still goes through the demo, his eyes burn­ing through the per­son who has uttered those words. He shows how the prod­uct is going to make things eas­ier for a whole slew of users. He does not talk about the com­pe­ti­tion but focuses on the big­ger pic­ture and on how his prod­uct is going to make devel­op­ment that much easier.

The lis­tener doesn’t buy it. I know that because I’m the listener.

The meet­ing was in 1995 and Mr. Jobs was then CEO of NeXT, a soft­ware com­pany that was about to unveil WebOb­jects, a suite of tools to make it eas­ier to build web sites. I was the edi­tor of a big online pub­li­ca­tion and also wrote for a cou­ple of internet-related mag­a­zines. All of 24 at the time, I thought I was on top of the world and had the kind of swag­ger and bravado that only comes out of being clue­less… and I had just told Steve Jobs that his prod­uct sucked.

In 1995–1996, Jobs was mostly seen as the guy who had built up Apple and then was thrown out of it. So he had to reboot and built a com­pany that would even­tu­ally be acquired by Apple, serve as the root of Mac OSX and help bring Steve Jobs back to do what is prob­a­bly one of the most sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness turn­arounds in all of history.

But at the time, he had to deal with peo­ple like me. As one of the folks that had cap­i­tal­ized early on the rise of the inter­net, I had devel­oped a fol­low­ing and thought I could ren­der judg­ment on any­thing that touched the inter­net. So when a minor player in the inter­net field came around (no mat­ter how impor­tant they had been out­side it), it came to me to do the inter­view and write the review of the products.

The take­aways

Had I not been so set in my opin­ion and had I been more mature, I could have taken sub­stan­tially more away from what hap­pened next. In rapid suc­ces­sion, Jobs went over  my objec­tions, chal­lenged or exposed why they were flawed, took note of some of the things that didn’t work, and posi­tioned my argu­ment in a light that was rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent than where we started. He did all that while seething and served me a whole edu­ca­tion in prod­uct mar­ket­ing and prod­uct man­age­ment to wrap things up.

Of course, it wasn’t until a few years later that I was able to fully appre­ci­ate any of this. With the tables now turned, I’ve been in count­less meet­ings across many of my own prod­uct offer­ings where I found myself the recip­i­ent of such words. Receiv­ing them never gets any eas­ier and is some­times even more bit­ing when you know, deep inside, that the prod­uct you have on your hand does indeed suck.

The chal­lenge is not to let such words keep you from plug­ging in. It cer­tainly didn’t stop Jobs when he heard this. I sus­pect he heard it a lot more over that press tour, because the prod­uct was far from per­fect. But each time, he took it as an oppor­tu­nity to gather feed­back and demon­strate how the other person’s per­cep­tion may have been flawed. The first part is essen­tial to mak­ing a bet­ter prod­uct; I’m sure that the sec­ond was Jobs’ way to release steam instead of grab­bing your throat from across the table and would not advise any­one but the truly mas­ter­ful to attempt it.

Over the years, I’ve launched tens of prod­ucts and if there is one thing that has been con­sis­tent with them, it is that the first ver­sion has failed to live up to my expec­ta­tions. And that seems to be the case for any cre­ative endeavor. As Ira Glass said in an inter­view on the cre­ative process:

For the first cou­ple years that you’re mak­ing stuff, what you’re mak­ing isn’t so good? It’s not that great; It’s try­ing to be good, it has ambi­tion to be good, but it’s not quite that good.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re mak­ing is kind of a dis­ap­point­ment to you. Like you can tell that it’s still sort of crappy. A lot of peo­ple never get past that phase and a lot of peo­ple at that point quit.

And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most every­body I know who does inter­est­ing cre­ative work, they went through a phase of years where they had really good taste and they could tell what they were mak­ing wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short, and some of us can admit that to our­selves and some of us are a lit­tle less able to admit that to ourselves.

But we knew that it didn’t have the spe­cial thing that we wanted it to have and the thing what to do is… Every­body goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just get­ting out of that phase or if you’re just start­ing off and you’re enter­ing into that phase, you’ve got to know it’s totally nor­mal and the most impor­tant pos­si­ble thing you can do is do a lot of work.”

Where it is a blank page, a song, a video, or a soft­ware prod­uct, every­one goes through this but there are two crit­i­cal points that Glass makes here:

The first is that most peo­ple quit when things are crappy. And I would say that over 95 per­cent of suc­cess lies in that demar­ca­tion line. The peo­ple who are crazy enough to keep plug­ging away when things are crappy are the ones who even­tu­ally break through. Recent exam­ples include Den­nis Crow­ley, of FourSquare, who has plugged away at the loca­tion and social prob­lem for over a decade now, or Evan Williams, who went from Blog­ger to Twit­ter in a con­tin­u­ous search for eas­ier way to share content.

The sec­ond part of Glass’ state­ment, though, is about doing a lot of work. Most prod­ucts are a lot of work… but when you have got­ten your first offer­ing out, it’s only the begin­ning. And that’s an impor­tant point because many peo­ple under­es­ti­mate the amount of work needed to go from a first sucky prod­uct to some­thing good.

And that’s another part where peo­ple get stuck.

A lot of peo­ple think that the first out­ing with a prod­uct is the prod­uct but the truth is more com­pli­cated. Whether you are going out with a min­i­mum viable prod­uct or some­thing more com­plex, there comes a point where one has to make the call as to a prod­uct being “good enough” for the mar­ket­place. And “good enough” for any­one who has poured sweat and tears into a prod­uct is sel­dom what comes out of that first product.

What comes out is gen­er­ally more in line with the “release can­di­date” def­i­n­i­tion pro­vided in the devil’s dic­tio­nary for high tech:

Release Can­di­date:n. Like a polit­i­cal can­di­date, far from per­fect, but likely to annoy the least num­ber of people.

How­ever, real­ize that those annoyed peo­ple can be a resource. Lis­ten to them, lis­ten to their con­cerns and work on address­ing those. And remem­ber that they want to help.

One thing I didn’t real­ize on that fate­ful day with Steve Jobs is that I really wanted the prod­uct to suc­ceed (as I wanted every prod­uct I saw to suc­ceed) because suc­cess from any­one I met meant suc­cess for the inter­net and in those early days of the com­mer­cial inter­net we were all pulling together. What I didn’t real­ize at the time was that there might have been bet­ter ways to address the sit­u­a­tion: first and fore­most, I should have lis­tened more closely, improv­ing my own skills in prod­uct mar­ket­ing and prod­uct man­age­ment; but also, I could have deliv­ered my mes­sage in a dif­fer­ent way.

Sucks doesn’t mean any­thing, unless you’re talk­ing about a vac­uum cleaner. But detailed analy­sis and feed­back on a prod­ucts defi­cien­cies can help improve it and would gen­er­ally be received in a bet­ter way while mak­ing the prod­uct owner more com­fort­able in demo­ing to you.

I never got another face to face demo from Steve Jobs after that day (and let’s be hon­est, who could blame him) but what I learned from blurt­ing out a few use­less words was how I should react when I’m on the receiv­ing end of such language.

你的产品糟透了,但那并没有关系


Your product sucks. (你的产品糟透了)

  文/Jamie

  这是网络媒体创业者 Tristan Louis 在 1995 年听完 Steve Jobs 介绍 NeXT 的新产品之后,对 Jobs 说的话 —— 没错,一天到晚说人家产品是「屎」的那位 Steve Jobs。

  更重要的是 Jobs 的反应。他不但没有生气,并且非常冷静的把这个对话转为一个互相学习的过程。首先,Jobs 陪着 Louis 一步步分析他为什么不满,时而挑战、时而挖掘 Louis 的论点,然后把他认为重要的回馈写下来。对话中,Jobs 甚至会用完全不同的角度去解构 Louis 的论述,用观点去试着启发对方。

  接着,话锋一转,Steve Jobs 开始给 TristanLouis 上课作为总结,Jobs 讲解了他如何做产品营销与产品管理,并试着从那里扭转局势。Jobs 最后并没有赢得 Louis 的生意,Louis 当时少年得志,听不进去 Jobs 的这些话。但直到数年以后 Louis 回想起来,才知道那个会议的可贵 —— 当然,Steve Jobs 从此再也不见 Louis。

  Louis 引用了美国知名电台制作、主持人 Ira Glass 的话,来解释为什么他当年错了:

当你刚开始做产品的前几年,你做出来的东西其实不怎么样,没什么了不起。它是「试着」想要很棒,它有「野心」想要很棒,但实际上并不怎么样。

但是你的「品味」,那个带你进到这场游戏里面的东西,还是很杀,它会告诉你你做出来的东西让你失望,有些丢脸。很多人没办法撑过这个阶段,他们往往在这里就放弃了。

我可以告诉你的是,几乎所有我认识、有些成就的创意工作者,他们都经历过这样的时期,当他们的品味远远高过他们做东西的能力。他们知道这些产品不够好,有些人愿意面对这个事实,有些人可能不愿意承认。

但最终,每个人都会渡过这个时期。因此如果你正在开始,或正在经历这个过程,你必须要知道的是那是很正常的,而你能够做的最重要工作就是不断的尝试。

  是的,很多时候,我们的品味早已被市场上众多精致的产品所惯坏。但尤其是初创业者,你做出接近等级东西的能力几乎是零,因此我们常常不满意自己的作品,也因此这些产品往往让市场冷感。

  These products suck.

  但这其实没有关系,因为你要的本来就不是一个一开始就大成功的东西,你要的是学习、是磨练,是在这个过程中把自己的实作能力拉到跟品味一样高,同时把品味调整到跟市场更一致。这是一个需要好几年时间才会完成的进步过程,往往也是一件急不得的事情。很多人没办法撑到那一天,禁不起市场不断的打击,所以他们在过程中放弃了。而那些所谓的「成功」创业者,从这个角度看过去,其实也就只是心脏更强、脸皮更厚的撑到最后罢了。

  Steve Jobs 花了 12 年在 NeXT,才经历了这个过程,你呢?

来自: mrjamie.cc