A Little-Known Secret About Product Creation That Might P!$$ You Off...

39 replies
It ain't about your product!

Now, before you all break out the flame-throwers, let me explain.

Have you ever been into a Firehouse Subs location? How about Papa Murphy's Pizza? These two franchise businesses are tearing up the world while selling a pretty "Plain Jane" product. I bet your town is packed with subs and pizza, just like mine is. And some of the local joints blow the franchises out of the water when it comes to the quality of the product.

But that's not what makes these franchises special, even though they prattle on about fresh ingredients and all that.

What sets both of these phenomenally successful restaurants apart is their SYSTEMS! (Well, that and the fact that people can use food stamps to buy PM's pizza, a little loophole that has made them heaven knows how much money...)

Everything about a Firehouse Subs is there to guarantee you, at a minimum, a pleasant experience. From the dedicated order-taker who only handles money and doesn't burn through 17,000 pair of plastic gloves a year (talkin' to you, Subway) to the smiling faces of their employees and their competitive pricing model, you'd have a hard time finding something to complain about.

Frankly, I find their sandwiches underwhelming. But I wish some of my local Mom and Pop sub shops could even TRY to keep up. These guys know how to make the most of social media, Google Places, local promotions, etc. Hell, the fact that you can text in your lunch order (which seems like such an obvious idea) puts them MILES ahead of the competition.

I prefer to eat at my local shops. But I'm not sure how much longer they will be able to hold out from the Firehouse and Papa Murphy onslaught. And the thing is, I've tried to convince the locals to play the game. Those few that have websites just can't seem to wrap their brains around the idea that same-said website might need to be mobile-optimized.

Nice knowin' ya!

So what does this have to do with IM? EVERYTHING!

When you're creating a business model for your IM business, what can you do to maximize the use of systems that appeal to a broader market? And if you said, "I'll just write a better eBook on spider grooming than anyone else", you've missed the point.

It may seem like a radical notion, but the systems are the FIRST thing to put in place, and then the product can be developed. The other way around is how it is so often done and, IMHO, the reason so many IM businesses never produce returns.

Building a platform on top of a product ensures the entire house blows down if the product fails.

To summarize; Build a rock-solid, customer-centered platform and put your product on top of it. If the product fails, grab another product. Keep going like that until you become an internet gazillionaire!

Best o' luck,
Carl
#creation #ebook #infopreneur #internet marketing #littleknown #p$$ #product #secret
  • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
    Hi Carl,
    There's a lot of great value in your post.
    I hope people read it.
    However, I do think that starting with a GREAT product is the best way to build a great platform (initially).
    You can use that platform later on for other products (whether the original product failed or not)
    Thanks for a great post!
    Stefan
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
    Hey Stefan. Thanks and good point.

    I guess I thought it would be a given that whatever product you might produce should be as good as it can possibly be, regardless of the chosen business model.

    Carl
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Systems are wonderful and necessary but if they aren't built on
    a foundation of a good quality product you don't have much.

    The product doesn't have to be the premium product in its category.
    It just has to be good quality for the niche level in which it competes.

    We don't have Firehous Subs around here but I've eaten many Papa
    Murphy's pizzas. Yes, there are many pizzas that are better but not in
    that price range. It's a good quality pizza foir the buck. Combine that
    with an efficient system and you have something!

    But... combine a great system with a crap product and you have bankruptcy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
      Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

      combine a great system with a crap product and you have bankruptcy.
      Of course I agree with you that the product should be great. But I humbly disagree with you that a great system with a crap product equates to bankruptcy.

      In the long game view of the industry, a "minimum viable product" should be all that is required to go into business. Find out what your demographic really wants BEFORE you start toiling away to deliver what you THINK they want.

      "Build, Measure, Learn" - Stolen straight from The Lean Startup, as is the following quote:

      Too many startups begin with an idea for a product that they think people want. They then spend months, sometimes years, perfecting that product without ever showing the product, even in a very rudimentary form, to the prospective customer. When they fail to reach broad uptake from customers, it is often because they never spoke to prospective customers and determined whether or not the product was interesting. When customers ultimately communicate, through their indifference, that they don't care about the idea, the startup fails.
      If, however, you dedicate all your resources to creating a product that YOU think your demographic will respond to, and then build a system on top of that, you will likely fail.

      Don't forget, the definition of a "crap product" is the customer's, not yours.

      To put it in terms my kids would love, test your crap to see if it is, in fact, crap.
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    • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
      Originally Posted by Tsnyder View Post

      I've eaten many Papa
      Murphy's pizzas. Yes, there are many pizzas that are better but not in
      that price range. It's a good quality pizza for the buck.
      This is an interesting statement that I'd also like to address. For those of you unfamiliar with Papa Murphy's Pizza, they prepare a restaurant quality pizza that you pick up, bring home and cook yourself.

      To me, it's amazing that this works. If I were given an opportunity to invest I would have declined on the idea that it's only a moderate step above the existing market of frozen pizzas at the grocery. And they just went public. Shows what I know...

      At any rate, I know a PM owner and this guy has it made. No ovens, no delivery, a skeleton staff and a tiny strip mall storefront. And his margins are INSANE!

      If you compare PM's product to, say, Papa John's, they're not even in the same league. One delivers a piping hot pizza pizza straight to your front door (with garlic butter! I love that garlic butter!), the other gives you dough and toppings to take home and cook yourself, in your own oven.

      If you look at it from a straight dollars spent perspective, PM is a better deal. But if you look at it in terms of what you're getting for your money, PJ has it on lock.

      (I won't even mention CiCi's Pizza. Talk about a systems model that makes a killing, my goodness!)

      The reason this works as a franchise is that the system has been tested and vetted to kingdom come. They have a model in place, hand the owner his marching orders, give him the keys to a marketing plan, they even tell him what loyalty programs to use. They could change the ingredient supplier, start to skimp on toppings, whatever they like to test the ROI, and the system would still hold the business up.
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      • Profile picture of the author XponentSYS
        Originally Posted by Carl Donovan View Post

        To me, it's amazing that this works. If I were given an opportunity to invest I would have declined on the idea that it's only a moderate step above the existing market of frozen pizzas at the grocery. And they just went public. Shows what I know...

        At any rate, I know a PM owner and this guy has it made. No ovens, no delivery, a skeleton staff and a tiny strip mall storefront. And his margins are INSANE!

        If you compare PM's product to, say, Papa John's, they're not even in the same league. One delivers a piping hot pizza pizza straight to your front door (with garlic butter! I love that garlic butter!), the other gives you dough and toppings to take home and cook yourself, in your own oven.

        If you look at it from a straight dollars spent perspective, PM is a better deal. But if you look at it in terms of what you're getting for your money, PJ has it on lock.

        (I won't even mention CiCi's Pizza. Talk about a systems model that makes a killing, my goodness!)

        The reason this works as a franchise is that the system has been tested and vetted to kingdom come. They have a model in place, hand the owner his marching orders, give him the keys to a marketing plan, they even tell him what loyalty programs to use.
        Yeah..... when you buy into a Franchise, you're really buying into a SYSTEM. PM works for a segment of the market that's VALUE MINDED and would rather cook their own pizza if it means they can save even a dollar.

        Their target is NOT the low income folks. That's Little Ceasars niche). PM goes after what we called "Grey Camery Drivers"..... people who demand a balanced quality to cost ratio. When that ratio is at their balance point, that's where they see the MOST VALUE.

        PM works so well because they found that balance. They found the QUALITY sweet spot, the right price point...... and their customer finishes the job by cooking it at home. In fact, the idea that their customer "takes and bakes" works in their favor. Since they perfected the balance of value..... the "take and bake" ADDS VALUE in the eyes of their target.

        They could change the ingredient supplier, start to skimp on toppings, whatever they like to test the ROI, and the system would still hold the business up.
        Not correct, at all.

        As a franchisee myself in the Puzza Space.... this would not fly. Do that, lose your sign.

        In the restaraunt business part of the SYSTEM is CONSISTANCY and one of the most prevelant problems a restaraunt franchise system faces as at rapidly grows is MAINTENANCE OF CONSISTANCY.

        I recall Round Table fighting that battle as we grew. In fact, in the late 90s it got so out of control RT had to buy back a good number of stores from Franchisees who were having compliance issues.

        If the product ingredients "go rogue", the system gets rickety and I'd that breaks.... so goes the chain. It's the number one killer of new franchise systems.

        Right now I'm working with a client and am creating a franchise system to rapidly expand his quick service taco and tostada shop. Consistency is key to his system, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
    How did this become a discussion about pizza? I'm getting hungry!
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  • Profile picture of the author Lurk
    How did it become a subject on systems. I was looking for the thing to make me mad about product creation. Walks off mad I was duped.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      This is another chicken and egg thing. Does the system need to come first or does the product have to come first? Does it matter?

      That all depends on what you're selling. You can't pigeon hole every single product in the whole world that is or has been successful and say it was successful first because it had a great system and second because of the product itself, which can be great, good or even average.

      I don't believe that an average product can survive long. Look at all the average products in the history of this world that had short runs and eventually went out of business. If the system was bad to begin with, according to your logic, the product would have never sold at all. And we know that isn't true.

      I personally had almost no system at all during the 9 years that I was successful online before my business fell apart. But for 9 years, I was successful. I created products, made a sales page, wrote articles, posted them to EZA, got traffic, built a list and made sales.

      I was told my business model was crap. But for 9 years I made enough to pay off my credit cards, mortgage and send my daughter to college. I am now debt free even though my business has since tanked.

      The reason I did well was because my products were good. I had very few refunds during all that time. I had a loyal customer base.

      Now, you might say that my system was good in order to do that well. Well, if the system was that good, why did my business tank? Can't have it both ways. So either it was good and it still made no difference in the long run or it was bad and I was successful for a substantial amount of time in spite of it.

      The truth is somewhere in between. You need a good system and a good product to have long term success. Drop the ball in either of those areas and you are in serious trouble.

      In short, I do not believe you can sell mediocrity to the masses for a long period of time no matter how great your system is.

      And I agree with the poster above. Very deceptive thread title. Wasn't at all what I was expecting to read. But hey, that's part of marketing on forums so no surprises there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
    I'd be very interested to know why your business ultimately failed, Steve.

    Allow me to reiterate, I'm not suggesting anyone go to market with a crappy product. What I'm saying is that too many people toil away in obscurity trying to craft the world's best product on spider grooming (I wonder of there really is a niche for that???) and then come to WF asking how to monetize it.

    The glorious thing about running a business online is that it allows you to be nimble, to fail early (even often) and keep moving forward.

    So I'm recommending we take another approach. Set up a solid system, go to market with a MVP, test, fail, and repeat until winning is inevitable.

    And I think I have managed to raise the ire of a few. Sorry if I didn't piss you off enough
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Carl Donovan View Post

      I'd be very interested to know why your business ultimately failed, Steve.

      Allow me to reiterate, I'm not suggesting anyone go to market with a crappy product. What I'm saying is that too many people toil away in obscurity trying to craft the world's best product on spider grooming (I wonder of there really is a niche for that???) and then come to WF asking how to monetize it.

      The glorious thing about running a business online is that it allows you to be nimble, to fail early (even often) and keep moving forward.

      So I'm recommending we take another approach. Set up a solid system, go to market with a MVP, test, fail, and repeat until winning is inevitable.

      And I think I have managed to raise the ire of a few. Sorry if I didn't piss you off enough
      Question, and then I'll answer your question about why my business failed.

      How do you know whether or not you have a solid "system" if your product is crap or great?

      A great product will probably sell regardless of the system. A crap product will probably have very little chance of doing anything at all.

      It is only those middle ground products that are probably made or broken by the system.

      My point is, you really have no way of knowing if your system is any good or not. My own business is living proof of that. I was told by many marketers that my marketing method was doomed to failure in spite of the fact that I had serious success with it for years.

      Here it is and I'll point out why it failed.

      1) Research what people are buying and create a similar product. Don't reinvent the wheel.

      2) Write articles

      3) Submit them to Ezine Articles in order to drive traffic to my offer/list (failure point)

      4) Repeat steps 1 to 3.

      Pretty simple system, don't you think? Ultimately, it failed when Google slammed the article directories and my traffic stopped.

      The system was flawed because I put all my eggs in one basket (EZA) But that's all hindsight as far as I'm concerned. When a site is as big as EZA was, who could have possibly foreseen them crashing and burning like they have? I certainly never saw it.

      So in spite of all my great products that I kept cranking out (over 300 of them) eventually I just stopped because I couldn't generate enough traffic to even determine if the products Iw was creating the last 2 years were any good. I believed that they were because they were based off the same criteria I had been using for the 7 or 8 years previously.

      I guess in a way I am agreeing with you. The system broke down so the sales stopped.

      But again, how do you know when you have a great system?

      What if the first product I put out using this system was so bad that nobody bought it? Or forget it being bad. What if it's something that nobody wanted? I misfired with one product in particular and ironically, the system I used for that product (because I was so sure it would be a hit) was actually one that was proven by the big boys. I pulled out all the stops for this product including press releases, affiliates, you name it.

      Nobody bought the product.

      Why?

      Because nobody wanted to learn a new form of divination. They just weren't interested.

      So again, I firmly believe that you need both. You need a product that people want, that isn't crap AND you need a system to get that product in front of people that works.

      One is no more important than the other. My own successes and failures are living proof of this.

      In fact, I'll go one step further. You drop the ball in one of any 25 areas of running a business and you risk failure. That is why the failure rate in this business is so great.

      I screwed up in one area, where I chose to go for my traffic and it collapsed my whole business.

      So, nice theory that you have there but I'm not 100% sure that it washes 100%.

      Because there are way many more areas than systems where you can totally fubar your business.
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      • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
        Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

        How do you know whether or not you have a solid "system" if your product is crap or great?
        Thanks for your candor, Wag. There's a lesson in there for us all.

        To answer your question, systems are easy to track. People, not so much.

        Will the system "like" your product? Doesn't matter. Will the people buy it? That's the part that's hard to predict.

        With the aid of hindsight, and your open dialogue, I can say that you could have avoided the certain doom of EZA traffic by putting in place a system (there it is again) that captured interested parties to your own lists. It's a time-tested formula that works.

        If I may say so, it sounds like a part of you enjoyed thumbing your nose at those who said you would fail. Until, that is, your business flagged. Had you reveled in your own success while simultaneously putting some credence in what they were saying, you might not have had such an unfortunate story.

        That's not meant to be a criticism, it's meant as a cautionary tale for us all.
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by Carl Donovan View Post

          Thanks for your candor, Wag. There's a lesson in there for us all.

          To answer your question, systems are easy to track. People, not so much.

          Will the system "like" your product? Doesn't matter. Will the people buy it? That's the part that's hard to predict.

          With the aid of hindsight, and your open dialogue, I can say that you could have avoided the certain doom of EZA traffic by putting in place a system (there it is again) that captured interested parties to your own lists. It's a time-tested formula that works.

          If I may say so, it sounds like a part of you enjoyed thumbing your nose at those who said you would fail. Until, that is, your business flagged. Had you reveled in your own success while simultaneously putting some credence in what they were saying, you might not have had such an unfortunate story.

          That's not meant to be a criticism, it's meant as a cautionary tale for us all.
          I did build a list. At one time it was as many as 6,000. But eventually the list stopped growing and the ones on it soon became unresponsive to new offers (burnt out, moved on, whatever) which is why my business failed. And even at that, because I did have a list it took 2 years for my business to totally tank even after the traffic stopped.

          So again, one point in the system (traffic generation) caused the whole thing to fall apart.

          Had my products been horrible, that would have been the one point even if I didn't use EZA and everything else was perfect.

          Again, you need everything. This isn't a "one thing is more important than another" kind of deal. All the pillars have to be in place or the building falls.

          And those pillars include the product.
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    I lately came to the conclusion that everyone online teaches internet marketing the wrong way. First of all we need copywriting lessons, and we have to learn how to get traffic before doing anything else.

    This idea is similar to your concept. Creating a money-making system is necessary if you want to really make money in a consistent basis.

    So, you have to begin by learning how to sell, and how to send people to your offers. Nobody shows you this truth from the beginning.

    When you will master these essential skills, then you can think about finding buyers, and finding or creating the products they want.

    You have to learn how to build a business – and not merely make a few dollars for a while.







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    • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
      Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

      You have to learn how to build a business - and not merely make a few dollars for a while.
      That's it precisely. The reason I figured this post would upset a few people is that it challenges what they've been told, that you make a great product, recruit an army of affiliates and the money will flow in.

      And maybe it will. But it probably won't for long. Not without a solid foundation.

      The very first thing we should all do is to get our brains wrapped around the concept that this a business. And smart business people observe how successful businesses function, and follow their lead.

      Unless, that is, they have a few million lying around to carve out an entirely new means of operating.
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    • Profile picture of the author Christopher Fox
      Originally Posted by clever7 View Post

      I lately came to the conclusion that everyone online teaches internet marketing the wrong way. First of all we need copywriting lessons, and we have to learn how to get traffic before doing anything else.
      What the hell do I know, but these are about the biggest obstacles to overcome, IMO. There is a reason that copywriters make damn good $/word. Whereas the freelance content writers keep pushing the $/word decimal point to the left, a top notch copy writer can push that decimal point to the right and maybe add a zero, or two. That is some of what can be involved in split testing - variations of copy.

      As far as traffic, well, that needs to be underlined, too, like you did. That's a different game than it was even 3-4 years ago, concerning search engine traffic, which many marketers made a lot of money with - and not always with awesome products.

      Without eyes seeing that copy, your sales will always be zero, quality of product not withstanding. You can also sell a complete garbage product for $60 (I know of one in a completely non-MMO or normal niche), providing your sales funnel COPY kicks arse and that sales funnel is getting TRAFFIC.

      I agree that solving those two dilemnas is the difference between success and failure. You can solve those two issues with a crappy product and make money, potentially good money. You can't make money with the best 'product' in the niche, though, without getting the copy and traffic figured out.
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      • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
        Originally Posted by Christopher Fox View Post

        You can't make money with the best 'product' in the niche, though, without getting the copy and traffic figured out.
        YES INDEEDY!
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  • I know what you mean. An efficient system and the right marketing can make or break small businesses.

    That's why it breaks my heart to see Mom and Pop shops with great products close down while marketing savvy franchises with mediocre products flourish.

    And I have tried to do the same with local business here in my community. I even offered to help out for free because there was this small business that I loved and truly wanted to save.

    But for some reason, small businesses seem to be afraid of internet marketing. And I honestly don't understand why they think that way!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jaysmyne
    I personally think you have a really good point. A lot of these eBooks are complete crap and worthless. For me, I only buy on topics I think could really benefit me in some shape or form and find most of what I need or have questions about can be found here by doing a simple search and shifting through things.

    The purpose eBooks have is saving you time and energy and time is money. So, if its just a $7 eBook on a topic, I really want to know a lot about, and the reviews about it are really good or speak to me, I have no hesitation to purchase it to save me the time of looking for it. That way everything is laid out nice and neat for me without any complications. I don't miss anything with step-by-step eBooks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Alice12345
    From my opinion, its all about the perspective of customer to your product. But, it makes sense when Steven Wagenheim said it all. Thanks for the ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author XponentSYS
    What a wonderful post, Carl. I agree with you so I don't have much to add.

    I will state that I'm a huge proponent of systems and anyone who knows me, knows that. In the 90s I was a Round Table Pizza franchisee. While we did have a great product..... It was our SYSTEM that made us scaleable and profitable.

    The SYSTEM is what makes it SCALEABLE ...... and why I was able to run multiple stores (I had 4).

    Products don't make money...... SYSTEMS do.
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  • Profile picture of the author jakedenver
    Thanks for the comparative analysis Carl. I like your style. But I have to throw some shame your way.

    Originally Posted by Carl Donovan View Post


    Now, before you all break out the flame-throwers, let me explain.
    I blew a mouthful of Ice Tea out of my nose.

    I have some free templates coming out in the War Room (as soon as they pass the check) and they will help people out with the cover creation.

    No OPT-IN or anything.

    I hope the wave of experts don't cannibalize me, dude.
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    • Profile picture of the author XponentSYS
      Originally Posted by jakedenver View Post

      Thanks for the comparative analysis Carl. I like your style. But I have to throw some shame your way.



      I blew a mouthful of Ice Tea out of my nose.

      I have some free templates coming out in the War Room (as soon as they pass the check) and they will help people out with the cover creation.

      No OPT-IN or anything.

      I hope the wave of experts don't cannibalize me, dude.
      I think I see what you're pointing out but not sure.

      Can you tell me why you're doing that? Surely you have a reason

      I bet if I go get your templates, I'll be able to "sniff out" a system somewhere.......... somewhere
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      • Profile picture of the author jakedenver
        Originally Posted by XponentSYS View Post

        I think I see what you're pointing out but not sure.

        Can you tell me why you're doing that? Surely you have a reason

        I bet if I go get your templates, I'll be able to "sniff out" a system somewhere.......... somewhere
        Ego maniac about 30 minutes ago... All I'm gonna' say.

        There was a system involved. The fact that they are FREE is part of another system. People could use a system to release as many volumes as humanly possible with them.

        If they had a system.

        A system starts in the mind.

        Good post.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarevok
    Some of the most genius coders... And best writers I've ever known...

    Are totally dirt broke and couldn't sell themselves if their lives depended on it...

    Likewise... Some of the most successful have an unusual combination of traits that allow them to transcend... (Some are just fearless and shameless, so they're never afraid to ask and dig in... And never afraid to fail)...

    Though their success? - Not necessarily the result of their aptitude or refined skill...

    Just look at any successful business. (I don't care if you're talking about major "Make Money" gurus or McDonalds)...

    Odds are it's not their "elite quality" that makes them so successful... Right?

    The smart money says it's their system. Now we can argue about what makes a system; but the point is that a finely applied system is superior to quality unto itself. In fact... This applies to all areas of life. Simple logic really.

    (This reminds me of when I blogged about how traffic > content... That made a lot of people mad)...



    Just my humble $.02. Fascinating discussion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
    I love the way these posts have a way of taking on a life of their own!

    Some are systems centered, some are product centered. All in all, we have our own approach to business. Hell, that's why we're self-employed, right?

    As a franchisee myself in the Pizza Space.... this would not fly. Do that, lose your sign.
    I meant that the franchisor could get away with the changes, not the rogue franchisee. But I get your drift.

    I blew a mouthful of Ice Tea out of my nose.
    I owe you a tea.

    Odds are it's not their "elite quality" that makes them so successful... Right?
    McDonalds? Quality? Yeah, I believe it's got to be the system that's working for them. Hell, they're not even "fast" food anymore.

    Again, you need everything. This isn't a "one thing is more important than another" kind of deal. All the pillars have to be in place or the building falls.

    And those pillars include the product.
    Agreed. Just trying to put more emphasis on the system, less on the product. If only to encourage more people to stop planning and take ACTION. I have a friend who's a film producer. His advice to screenwriters is, "Don't get it right, get it written". I think that applies across the board.

    Thanks for the lively discussion. I'm off to bed. I have a launch in the morning.

    Carl
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Carl Donovan View Post

      I love the way these posts have a way of taking on a life of their own!

      Some are systems centered, some are product centered. All in all, we have our own approach to business. Hell, that's why we're self-employed, right?



      I meant that the franchisor could get away with the changes, not the rogue franchisee. But I get your drift.



      I owe you a tea.



      McDonalds? Quality? Yeah, I believe it's got to be the system that's working for them. Hell, they're not even "fast" food anymore.



      Agreed. Just trying to put more emphasis on the system, less on the product. If only to encourage more people to stop planning and take ACTION. I have a friend who's a film producer. His advice to screenwriters is, "Don't get it right, get it written". I think that applies across the board.

      Thanks for the lively discussion. I'm off to bed. I have a launch in the morning.

      Carl
      I agree with you there. Too much procrastination in this business. I'm just the opposite. I have very little patience which is why my latest business is driving me crazy. It takes a ridiculously long time to create my product. And in bulk, forget it. Otherwise, the product I'm coming out with (hopefully soon) would be done already. But that's the nature of music. It's not like writing an ebook, something I could crank out in a few days. Music is endless. But once everything is in place, this time I will have a system that will work. Of that I have no doubts and finally I'll be making the kind of money I used to make and more now that I'll also have affiliates working for me.

      I just have to learn a little patience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mason13
    If it's not about the product, then what are people buying? ... Right?

    In my experience, BRANDING under your own name has always been a way for people to know you, like you & trust you. ... And "People buy people", then they join the opportunity. Always was, always will be!

    As a product creator myself, I noticed the quality of buyers I got since I created my own.

    The Buyers list is a bit smaller but people buy more, re-buy and this is PRICELESS!

    Sometimes a customer buys 1 product and ends up buying 4 or 5 of them on the same day because they know I deliver good stuff and made it myself.

    Thow I create my own products, there are all sorts of PLR/MRR products out there that makes it's easy to brand stuff under your name.

    Knowing that, I don't see why I would promote someone else's brand when I can promote my own to gain an AUDIENCE that follow ME.

    I guess everything has to do with how you're set-up, the DEMAND about the type of product, how you build your list and sales pages from that point!

    Where product creators fail IMO is that they don't follow trends and demand, but instead they follow their hearts, giving more value to their products then they are really worth.
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  • Profile picture of the author NK
    Having a great product nets you sales.

    Having a great system maximizes your sales.

    Of course, nothing is ever that clear cut so there will always be times when a good system lets you sell a poor product and also times when a good product will sell well despite not having a proper system in place.

    Then there is the chance that you'll still not make much sales even with a good product and system in place.

    I know a few marketers who are very aggressive with their marketing methods, making use of their tried and true system to sell rehashed products over and over again to great success. It does work, but chances are you need to continue generating new leads.

    As long as you have a GREAT product, even if you only made a few sales, they will continue coming back for more. No matter how great your system is, if your product is subpar, sooner or later you will lose all your customers. But in order for a customer to keep buying from you, you'll need to have a system in place to make it possible, i.e. a list building system.

    So it's really having both at the same time. Make sure you have a great product in hand, and make sure that you have a proper system in place in order to maximize your profits not just for now, but to build towards the future.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mikepetrea
      You're absolutely right, people in our industry that continue to fail but they keep trying the same thing over and over again, this is INSANE !

      Try thinking outside the box, look at what other successful marketers are doing, those are the best trendsetters. If you continue to do what's not working you're going get the same result. Find a successful model and build upon it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Content Commando
    Firehouse Subs....underwhelming? BLASPHEMY!
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  • Hey Carl thanks for the post... You reminded me of a book called "The E Myth" by Michael Gerber. The book introduces the concept that people in business almost always do the wrong things which in turn leads them to failure. These entrepreneurs are not really entrepreneurs rather they are technicians, operators, managers etc... that don't have any systems in place.

    Systems are critical because they allow you to free yourself from the day to day operation which in turn allows you to work on your business apposed to working in the business.

    Thanks for the post!

    Armando Rodriguez
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  • Profile picture of the author UBotBuddy
    Great post Carl!

    We have a couple of those franchises here and the one that jumps out at me is their friendliness when I want in the door.

    I think the "Chick-Fil-A" effect has caught on. Being friendly IS a great in-direct way of not only building out your brand but it helps in closing the Sales too.

    Keep it up dude!
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Ray
    Isn't a good SYSTEM actually a PRODUCT?

    When you create a good system, you can actually sell it to others but then, your system becomes the product.

    What?

    Then you have to create an other good system so you can sell your "product" which is your original good system and so on...

    I guess this is what they call "Infinite Potentiality "
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  • Profile picture of the author NLwarrior
    Nice post Carl! Everybody here should read the E-Myth, it goes about this in detail.
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  • Profile picture of the author billspaced
    Good points in the OP.

    I think selling is 80% promotion and 20% product. Having a great product is a necessary and sufficient condition. If you don't have a great product, it doesn't matter how much promotion you do (your crappy products will eventually catch up with you)...

    But all that said, promotion is critical. And much of that has to do with having a stable of affiliates who will do your bidding for you, provided you set them up and treat them well.
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  • Profile picture of the author squidface
    Banned
    Fantastic product/service - no market = fail

    Decent product - huge hungry market = success.
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  • Profile picture of the author GforceSage
    While on the subject of food, and how a given system lends itself to IM comparisons...

    How about Olive Garden?

    This is a restaurant which pretends to be Italian and "Treat you like family," but if you take a closer look, things aren't quite what they seem. Business is good, but starting to drop slightly.

    Once in the door, they start off the experience with all you can eat salad and bread sticks, which are very good. But, the main course is usually not up to par if you have eaten high quality Italian food. Not bad, just ho-hum.
    Then there is the factor that Olive Garden pretends to have this high-end chefs kitchen in Tuscany where they create their new or promotional meals.
    They then make up words that sound Italian for the new creations. Orchedee, tortaloni, and spagioli or not known Italian dishes.

    If you ask the Olive Garden if those are authentic Italian dishes, they respond, "We say, Italian inspired." Yet, on a Saturday night, folks are waiting outside the door to get in. If you stop by the kitchen, you can even watch the staff open up a giant can of pasta sauce. Meanwhile, I drive a few blocks away to a place where a real Italian family has great recipes and their cooking will knock your socks off. They plate the salad for you, you don't need seconds. If you run out of bread, they will bring more, but you have to ask.

    The Olive Garden has a system that works for them, but for how long? The Darden company which owns them just sold off Red Lobster.
    Check out these comments from a former OG insider:

    Could Olive Garden Italian cooking school not be what it claims?

    "I don't want to shock anyone, but we may have been mislead. I think I saw the Olive Garden commercial touting their cooking school about 15 times before the message internalized and I realized that Olive Garden was talking about a cooking school to which they send their chefs and managers. I don't know if any of you have been to an Olive Garden lately, but I think they need to take a look at the curriculum. Turns out the school is more of a vacation, then educational facility."
    "I was a manager at Olive Garden and was sent to their culinary institute in Tuscany back in 2007. It was more like a hotel, during the off-season, with restaurant on site. They would let the Olive Garden come and stay in all the rooms and they would use the restaurant as a classroom for maybe an hour here or there and talk about spices or fresh produce for a minute before going site seeing all day. The only time we saw the "chef" was when she made a bolognese sauce while taking pictures with each of us to send to our local newspapers. Basically, yes, they send people to Italy every year. As a manager I still got paid my salary and didn't have to use vacation time, it counted as "work". They paid for everything from meals, sightseeing, flight, everything except souvenirs. But in return, they sent pre-written articles to out local newspaper with fake quotes from me and a group photo. Also every year when they would run the promotion, I was supposed to wear a special "chef" coat and make conversation with guests who ordered the promotional meals."
    Sounds like some in internet marketing.

    "Well, I haven't actually tried this method, but it looks good and should work in theory."

    Can you think of those in IM who may fit the good part of Olive Garden's system as well as the
    not-so-good?

    Food for thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Donovan
    I didn't even know Olive Garden was still in business!
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