Posts tagged ‘Preston Marsh’

Business Model Ripped From the Pages of My Book BMOC

Apparently, a company named "Sumpto" has adopted a business model right out of my novel BMOC (written about 7 years ago).  This is a scene where entrepreneur Preston Marsh is interviewing and trying to recruit the protagonist Susan out of business school.  They are discussing the business model of his company called BMOC.  Half of its business model was that companies paid BMOC to place their products in the hands of influential high school students.

[Marsh:] The real innovation, though is… do you know what a product placement is?”

[Susan:] “Sure. It’s when a company pays to get their product into a TV show or movie – like when Reese’s pieces were used in the movie ET or I guess if you showed Seabiscuit eating Purina Horse Chow.”

“Exactly! And product placements are particularly effective. They act like an ad but they can’t be ignored like an ad. Anyway, we have taken product placements one step further: We get paid by major manufacturers to place their products not in movies but in the hands of the most popular kids in high school, the ones who really lead opinion as to what’s cool and not cool who we…”

“Who you happen to have on retainer anyway.”

“Exactly. But be careful how you think about ‘on retainer.’ The natural reaction is to assume this means money, but in our case it’s not. We keep the most popular people on retainer merely by …”

“Giving them free products,” Susan interrupted again, with growing excitement, “that manufacturers are already paying you to put in their hands.”

This is from Sumpto's web site.  (You will have to click through, for some reason even copying it as text is crashing my site, not sure why).

A big hat tip to reader Don, who not only found the site but paid me the indirect complement of having remembered my book.  Thanks!

Yet another case when I was 7-10 years too early (at Mercata were were about 10 years too early to cash in on social media as Groupon did with a similar model to ours).  But honestly, I was trying to make up quasi-outrageous business models.  For god sakes the other two major business ventures in the book were building fountains to harvest the coins thrown in them and selling musical tones for elevators.  I had no idea I should have been getting venture funding.

By the way, for the dozens of my literary fans, I am almost done with my next book, which is  really going to be good.   This novel writing thing really is about practice.  Teasers to follow...

First Ever Inside Reference to My Novel

This is probably the first ever inside reference to my novel. The funny part is that when I read TJIC's post, I thought "hmm, Preston Marsh, where have I heard that name?"  LOL.  By the way, the business idea Travis has is actually intriguing

Restaurants get napkins and linens as a service "“ every day, they trade huge bags of dirty whites for clean whites. They are in the business of cooking food and hiring wait staff, not in the business of knowing how to bleach things (or in the business of picking out linens that can stand up to bleach).

So what does clothing as a service entail? It could include cleaning, sizing, rotating wardrobes as fashions change, etc.

It removes some hassles, and bundles responsibilities in the place where there are economies of scale "“ people in the fashion industry can and will know more about sizing, cleaning, coordinating, etc. than consumers.

I and others have thoughts on the model in the comments.

By the way, for those who have not read my book, Preston Marsh is an entrepreneur who has made money in a series of sortof odd business models.  Years ago I used to get bored at parties (actually, I still get bored at parties but I no longer use this entertainment technique) and make up occupations for myself.  I remember convincing one woman who had recent evidence that I could not ski well that I was on the Olympic Ski Jumping Team  ("You don't have to turn in ski jumping!")

Anyway, all the business models in the books are ones I made up for myself on the fly at parties.  One involves building fountains in malls and then recouping the investment by harvesting coins from them.  Another, which is central to the book, is a sort of guerrilla marketing startup which does some lifestyle consulting with teens but makes its money placing products in the hands of the coolest, trendsetting teens at high schools (a model that has since been emulated by a couple of real-life companies).

By the way, the book is still on sale at Amazon and available on the Kindle for download.  Just search "BMOC."

BMOC Continues to Be Precient

Previously, I posted how my book BMOC foresaw a new business model in giving product placements to the most popular high school kids as opinion leaders who would drive adoption by their fellow teens.

This week, TJIC points out that the New York Times is starting to sniff around another business model in the book, that of fountain coin harvesting.  They are starting to see the market:

In all these babbling places, the story is the same: Coins pile up, Mr.
Mendez removes them and people's fascination with tossing pocket change
into water continues, unexplained"¦

But miss the real business model (from the book):

On
the basis of this market research and his quirky insight, Preston Marsh founded
3Coins, Inc, and began an intensive six month research and development
program. He hired engineers from several
hot tub and spa companies that had developed the modular spa, a design where
all the necessary pumps and plumbing were integrated with the tub into a single
portable unit. His designers worked long
weeks coming up with three modular fountain designs, driving down the estimated
manufacturing cost to just $350 per unit. 

Next,
Preston Marsh took these fountain designs to mall owners, architects, building
managers, landscapers and anyone who designed or owned public spaces. In every case, the deal was the same: Preston Marsh would give the client one or
more free fountains to adorn their public spaces, and would even provide the
labor to clean and treat the fountains once a week. In return, Preston Marsh literally "kept the
change". Preston Marsh paid local
entrepreneurs 25% of the change drop to clean the fountains and empty and
deposit the change. The rest was pure
profit.

The
resulting economics were startling. For
each installation, Preston Marsh had up-front investments of about $750,
including the $350 tub plus delivery and installation. In return, Preston Marsh gained about $50 a
week in revenue, or $37.50 after the servicing agent took his 25%. Over a year, the fountain would produce
$1,950 in revenue, with virtually no expenses or overhead. 

After
five years, 3Coins had nearly 10,000 fountains in place, generating almost $20
million in annual revenue, over half of which was profit. And Preston Marsh owned 100% of the company.

You can still buy BMOC at Amazon, which has had a bit of a sales resurgence of late after a couple of press mentions.   Servers are standing by.

 

BMOC Continues to Be Precient

Previously, I posted how my book BMOC foresaw a new business model in giving product placements to the most popular high school kids as opinion leaders who would drive adoption by their fellow teens.

This week, TJIC points out that the New York Times is starting to sniff around another business model in the book, that of fountain coin harvesting.  They are starting to see the market:

In all these babbling places, the story is the same: Coins pile up, Mr.
Mendez removes them and people's fascination with tossing pocket change
into water continues, unexplained"¦

But miss the real business model (from the book):

On
the basis of this market research and his quirky insight, Preston Marsh founded
3Coins, Inc, and began an intensive six month research and development
program. He hired engineers from several
hot tub and spa companies that had developed the modular spa, a design where
all the necessary pumps and plumbing were integrated with the tub into a single
portable unit. His designers worked long
weeks coming up with three modular fountain designs, driving down the estimated
manufacturing cost to just $350 per unit. 

Next,
Preston Marsh took these fountain designs to mall owners, architects, building
managers, landscapers and anyone who designed or owned public spaces. In every case, the deal was the same: Preston Marsh would give the client one or
more free fountains to adorn their public spaces, and would even provide the
labor to clean and treat the fountains once a week. In return, Preston Marsh literally "kept the
change". Preston Marsh paid local
entrepreneurs 25% of the change drop to clean the fountains and empty and
deposit the change. The rest was pure
profit.

The
resulting economics were startling. For
each installation, Preston Marsh had up-front investments of about $750,
including the $350 tub plus delivery and installation. In return, Preston Marsh gained about $50 a
week in revenue, or $37.50 after the servicing agent took his 25%. Over a year, the fountain would produce
$1,950 in revenue, with virtually no expenses or overhead. 

After
five years, 3Coins had nearly 10,000 fountains in place, generating almost $20
million in annual revenue, over half of which was profit. And Preston Marsh owned 100% of the company.

You can still buy BMOC at Amazon, which has had a bit of a sales resurgence of late after a couple of press mentions.   Servers are standing by.