There is a reason I am not an entrepreneurial success: I don’t have a clue what people will buy. Time after time, I have been wrong about innovations which have proven hugely successful. The fact that I still don’t understand the success of these products means that the possibility of me ever coming up with a similar idea is about nil. What am I talking about? Here goes:
Years ago, when I first heard that someone was planning to charge money for something I get free from the spigot, I rolled my eyes and said, “How gullible do these people think we are? I, for one, will never pay for water in a bottle.” I was wrong. People obviously buy bottled water and – true confession – on rare occasions, I do too.
Rent to Own
I suppose my mistake is that I assume people know how to do math. For example, according to this article at Money Crashers, one such company advertises their “buy it now” price for a 40” LCD TV as $1,199 compared to their “rent to own” price of $1,919.76 – a markup of 60% for the privilege of having it now. But the real kicker is that the very same TV could be found elsewhere, brand new, for $499. Hmmm. Let’s see. Save up for a few months and pay $499 or rent to own and pay nearly $2,000? I still don’t get it, but, again, I was wrong, wrong, wrong.
My gut reaction to storage units was, “Why would anyone in their right mind pay someone else to store their stuff for them?” I understand that someone who has sold his house may need some temporary storage while looking for his next home, but I am guessing that the vast majority of these units are rented by hoarders who don’t know how to get rid of their stuff. I was wrong again.
Like I said, I don’t have the fabric entrepreneurs are made of. However, if you have an innovative idea, why not run it by me first? My thumbs down may be just the encouragement you need!
How about you? What kinds of entrepreneurial ventures have you tried? What have you learned from your mistakes and failures? Have you (like me) been wrong about other’s ideas which turned out to be successful? Leave a comment!