What was the most stupid mistake you ever made?
My mistake was the most idiotic you can think of, and it has probably costed us thousands of dollars!
We lived in France back then, and if you have ever tried to run a company in France, you know that it's close to impossible. It's as if they don't want people to make their own money, but prefer the ever-on-strike employees in the national train service, banks, and tax offices, of course.
So even though we made a nice income after the first year there, we were constantly striving to make ends meet.
It was tough.
We worked 7 days a week, from around 10 o'clock in the morning to 2-3 am.
One of the things that made us money was a mail client we resold.
This mail client is probably the best existing ever, but you had to know it for a while to see the genius in the program.
Just testing it for a few day wouldn't reveal much. But once you started to use it and see the possibilities, oh wow!
Such a huge time-saver!
We sold to private persons in France and to companies.
One day I received a mail.
The sender presented himself as one of the leaders in the biggest computer magazine concern in France. He asked if we were willing to give them 5,000 copies for free.
And I said “no” and offered them a huge discount.
THAT was the biggest mistake I've EVER made in my life.
Being stingy cost us thousands of dollars, because that guy didn't buy from us, so his employees didn't get to know the mail client in-depth. Later, they did a comparison test of several mail clients, and the one we represented didn't score very high, because they'd only seen the outer layers.
That mail client cost $45 for one business license back then. I figured that if they would pay $10, we would make $50,000 – woah!
Short term thinking! Peeing in the pants thinking.
I should have thought of the millions of readers who would read enthusiastic descriptions of our product instead, and sold maybe a similar number of copies, maybe even more, and at full price.
What does this have to do with product creation?
I'll tell you tomorrow, because you might be doing the same mistake as I did, without knowing it.
P.S. Want to avoid losing money by being as stingy as I was? Read my mail tomorrow.