Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Great product not so Great

3 Year ago, almost exact this day my wife told me she is pregnant. At same day i went to a car dealer and bought a big SUV.
Then i went to ToysRus, Walmart and Target to look for an internal rear mirror that i will be able to see my newborn child when driving the car without turning my head. I did find a few but none of them worked well. Either the mirror was too small or it did still not work because newborns are facing backwards and i had to look through two mirrors to see the baby seat.

I went online and searched for a camera system, i did found one but this company was out of business (at this time i thought i knew why).

I went ahead and did build my own system by buying a wireless rear camera set  and did design a special mount for the camera, which i believed was the issue of the other system. They used a flexible arm to mount the camera which can break easily. My system is different the camera is mounted between the headrest polls, which makes it very stable and puts it in the right position. It is easily to uninstall and to mount it again to the front headrest when the baby is front facing. I did even file for patent for this mount.

My son got born in April 2.5 years ago and since this time my system is successful in use.
I showed it my neighbors and they liked and ordered from me the system.

I thought i had an Eureka effect and tried to get funding for this system. I needed around $500.000 to produce it cheap enough in China, to sell it under $100 and still make good profit. No luck.
As a product marketing person, i did build a website, did post about it and tried all channels i know (i even talked with car dealers, but again, these are mostly men)

Still no luck and then i started to wondering what is the problem with this system. It had all a good product would need.
1. Easy to explain
2. Solves a big problem
3. No competition

What i learned over the years is that this product is very well accepted by women, however because it is technical (even if easy to install) it needed to plugged into car power outlets and to be mounted to the headrest.

These are usually tasks done by men and men don't want to have anything in their car which can change the interior look and feel. The system is using its own screen which can be either mounted on the dashboard or clipped into an AC fan outlet. If it has been a navigation system, they would not have cared, but a baby monitoring system, which could potentially indicate that the car is a family car or would destroy the rolling man cave, is a no brainer.

I am still using the camera and i am still dreaming about this product being in millions of cars, but it is only a dream, because of missing start up money.

But what i learned is, that great products which needs a man and a woman to convince needs to be attractive for both. If you have a product which a woman likes but needs to be installed into a man territory and the man does not like it, then it won' work. the same the other way around.

finally i did call the other guy and asked him why he does not sell his system anymore and he had three reasons, too expensive, to easy to break and the main reason was he could not market it good enough that men would like it (women were scared of installing something).

I should have better asked him from the beginning before i started to dream.

I never give up and whenever i find 5000 pre-orders i will start again. I already know some modifications for this.

Check out the website: http://kinder-watch.com/

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