If you build, customers will come….

October 13th, 2006 by Hugh

Let me remind you of one of the supposed “Geek Business Myths” that I referred to recently.

If you build, they will come (i.e. customers).

This is Exbiblio’s position.

If you build a product that creates real value in the world, then you can’t go far wrong.

But still, I wonder, how is Exbiblio going to sell that product? Here are the main points of the marketing “plan” that I know about.

  • The first “target market” will almost certainly be students.
  • The primary method for spreading the word will be “viral” – i.e. those who try it will love it and tell their friends.
  • Beta testing the product among 1000 people early next year will create buzz.
  • The main selling point will be the Exbiblio website.
  • Independent bookshops fit in well with Exbiblio’s values, and could help sell its oPen.
  • Online bookshops are also potential partners for selling the oPen. They will see the value in linking the paper world to the online world, and so stimulating online book sales.
  • There are some publishers who have online versions of their books, and similarly, they will see the value in linking paper with digital, and help sell the oPen.

In the initial months, following the launch of the oPen next Spring, the goals for sales will be fairly modest. All Exbiblio wants to do is prove that there is demand in the market. But are these plans concrete enough for this stage?