Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Value of Plastic Fruit

All plastic fruit looks perfect. I can't help but think there are billions of Chinese factory workers thinking, WTF?. And then I think, a billion Chinese can't be wrong. Plastic fruit is a total fake out.

Ok that's obvious.

Think a bit more. There was a need to 'copy' fruit and make it out of plastic. Was their pain here? Was it something like, hmmmm..I want to display fruit, but I don't eat fruit, what am I todo? There must have been enough people that were thinking this for the guy who also made pet rocks (not true) to say, "I need to move on from rocks and make plastic fruit." It is a good thing he speaks Chinese.

If aliens came from space, Plastic Fruit would probably make their top 10 things of 'most confusing things about humans'. There is an entire factory, distribution channel, pricing strategy for plastic fruit. Only more wasteful would be any efforts to ISO9000 the thing or maybe earning your Blackbelt in the process of producing plastic fruit.

The Chinese proverb for this is: Make what Americans think they want, no questions asked.

Back to the Aliens. If today aliens looked at some internet services, They might see the value in plastic fruit. They might say, "I need plastic fruit all of a sudden, not sure why, but where is Madeinchina planet?"

I watch the typical listing sites and see very little actual value being created.

I'd encourage you to get the RSS feeds of these sites and watch them for two weeks. Use BounceBase of course to merge them.

www.killerstartups.com
www.go2web20.net
www.simplespark.com

It is completely overwhelming.

Every startup should answer one question and be sure it is always their focus:

What problem am I solving?


Otherwise it is just 'neat', 'cool' or some other Web 2.0 word, known as a cash incinerator in the investor world.

This is why anytime you 'pitch' your product, investors ask the same question: "Do you have any customers?" They are not asking about revenue. If you made something and people are using it to solve their personal pain, it has value. The size of the value is then in question, which should be slide 2.

Ok, so the big bananna at the plasticfruit company has a porsche and a ferrari. Who cares. Aliens don't nor do the Chinese. Nor should you. Go create value.

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