Saturday, January 3, 2009
Yet Another Past Folly
In 2004, a partner & I were trying to make a stab as a toy invention company in the Novelty arena (see past post). Having just taken leave of the slings and arrows of the corporate hairball , I wanted to poke fun at the prototypical boss in hopes of striking a nerve amongst those toiling hidden minions...the blue collar downtrodden with an extra fifteen bucks burning a hole in their Dockers.
At the time, this category had some runaway successes that were being bought by adults rather than children. I figured that it would be appropriate for office related gift giving occasions and graduations, etc.
There were some great phrases that we came up with, but many were filtered out for one reason or another...mostly political correctness as I recall.
My favorite line was never included: "Don't think of it as a pink slip...it's actually more of a coral or salmon color." Another one was, "I'm an equal opportunity employer...as long as your not ugly or fat or old or anything." We were asked to take out "fat." I guess it's okay to offend the geriatric and aesthetically challenged among us. Go figure.
One phrase that did make it was, "The last guy I hired was a complete brown noser. Yep, he's gonna go far here!"
Long story short....because it was developed in China (like everything else) where the factories pretty much had no problem ripping each other off, a competing product came out exactly when ours did...coincidence, right? In addition, the buyers for the retailers that really could have written large orders felt this type of item had run it's course the year before. This is why ultimately, the only noteworthy place that carried our item was Fry's Electronics.
I think we sold like 23 pieces...not counting the one I bought.
The whole process was frought with petty indignities that I won't mention lest:
1. I bore you more than you already are....
2. I drudge up long dormant personal bitterness that might lead to a raging carbohydrate binge.