Friday, June 4, 2010

Innovation Is In My Blood—Qs 4-10

This is installment #2, questions 4-10 re: Gaia Greetings business philosophy and introspection, inspired by Seth Godin's blog titled, "16 questions for free agents." For answers to questions 1-3, see my previous blog post.

Question 4: Is it important to add new customers or increase your interactions with existing customers?

Well, since I don’t actually have *any* customers at this point, it is important to do both. Generally, I subscribe to the modern day way of doing business—which, to me, means building relationships. That translates to focusing on and building mutually beneficial relationships—this includes vendors, subcontractors, distributors, and customers.

Q5: Do you want a team? How big?

Since Gaia Greetings is a start-up, it’s important for me to use my resources wisely in the beginning. I am working with a multitude of freelance designers, artists, accountants, marketers, social media, and business folk. I hope, one day, those relationships blossom into an opportunity to employ a small tribe of super talented people who share the Gaia Greetings vision.

Q6: Would you rather have an open-ended project that’s never done or would you rather reach end points?

Regarding the growth of Gaia Greetings in general... I hope to be around for a while. As for our product offerings, the business is structured with limits. I’m not interested in buying the rights to our artists work. Our contracts and products will be offered for a limited time because it’s important for me not only to keep it fresh, but also to support our artists in their big picture endeavors.

Q7: Are you prepared to actively sell your stuff, or are you expecting that buyers will walk in the door and ask for it?

In my humble opinion, word of mouth marketing is the best possible marketing strategy. I can’t expect my customers to promote Gaia Greetings if I am not engaged with and involved in promoting it myself. I will be there every step of the way, as the authentic voice of this company, actively selling our products and services, for the benefit of our customers.

Q8: Which—to invent a category or to be just like Bob/Sue but better?

Innovation is in my blood. I am incredibly fulfilled by creating and introducing new ideas. One of our business goals is to get people to rethink connection by offering them novel ways to do so.

Q9: If you take someone’s investment, are you prepared to sell out to pay it back?

No. To fulfill my grandiose plans, I considered an investment when I first began planning this business. Over time, however, my goals morphed, as did my perspective. This was an important turning point for me. I decided that I needed to use my ideas, be resourceful, figure out a way to start small, and fund this labor of love on my own.

Q10: Are you done personally growing, or is this project going to force you to change and develop yourself?

I’ll refer to my original Tribe profile on this question: "In process… constantly in process." There’s no doubt I will continually reckon with growth, change, and development—and I’m excited about that challenge.

More to come! Stay posted!
xoxo LOVE xoxo b

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