Pressing the Fast Forward Button
Not so fast…
They forget to tell you in all these blogs, books and tweets about startups that birthing a company not only requires a great idea, team, product, funding — it requires persistent patience.
Patience in your ideas to mature; your product to evolve; your team to gel and market opportunities to emerge. Since the days of conceiving divvi in the streets of Vergennes, I was ferverent about the power of word of mouth. The power of each and everyone of us to help one another find quality products, and in doing so not only support brands we believe in but help eliminate waste in the stream of commerce.
Being an old punk — I envisioned a revolt. Millions of consumers taking up divvi on their phones and breaking the top down system of push marketing and commerce. But that is not necessarily the reality if you are small tech startup in Vermont with little funding beyond the belief of your team and a core of angel investors.
Even if you are able to get millions of products into an app with multiple places to purchase — which we’ve amazingly done; you need to create points of traction for your idea and product to spread in an increasingly crowded market and media space. There are two approaches. One create or seize the flash point for your product to emerge, i.e. ello.com. Or find the will to be patient to discover multiple channels and tactics to push your product to the front of the fray naturally.
We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to follow the later approach, albeit by happenstance. Despite the continual urge to push our divvi out to the masses in a big bold way, we’ve quietly resisted. In the interim of building and speaking with others from the good people at Patagonia to the local gear shops to students at the University of Vermont and Champlain College we realized that divvi is not on outlier to commerce. In fact, can spread from within the current system itself with divvi’s integration into brand ecommerce sites, in the hands of retail associates on the sales floor of gear shops to the hands of fly fishing guides and skiing ambassadors — from the mouths and hands of friends. That divvi will populate itself organically from a number of directions. But in the end it will always come from a place of trust — be it in the trust you hold with your local gear shop, that brand you love, or your friend.
We just needed the patience, and a bit of luck, to see those opportunities emerge.