Blog 15 v5
A long, long time ago, I worked for a startup with David Hans. It became clear that it was slowly… going under. I was looking for a change where I could work with as few people as possible.
An ad in Success Magazine sparked my interest…so I called them up.
I called and spoke with the President, Paul and he introduced this fabulous piece of technology to me: It was truly state of the art –
DA Not when we purchased it in 1986,…but it WAS when it was first designed… 8 years earlier. DA
It was powered by a Tandy TRS-80 with 8k (that right, K, not gigabyte) of RAM and a dual 400k floppy system
When we started the company in 1986, we were unprepared for what was to come in the next 14 years. It started in a small, 3 room office above a Dominos pizza, next to the luxurious adult book store in downtown Hayward, California. In one room was a folding table, am uncomfortable chair, 2 line phone system, the yellow pages, and… me. In the other room was the machine that would quickly make us rich, with minimal effort.
This beauty… would automatically call people on the phone and the cassette player would play them a pre-recorded message . When they answered, and it would record their response…. Even better, it would call, 5 people at a time! That’s right, just like the ad stated, it was like “having 5 full time telemarketers who never got tired. The last call of the day would be delivered with the same enthusiasm as the first.” And every call would be consistent. But the best part: we could do it without ANY employees! We could just add machines …as we grew.
Paul told us that they only produced a limited amount, so we would need to put our orders in soon if we wanted to ensure the next unit.
It was really hot…. AND cheap to run. That’s where the money thing came in. Once our minimal monthly expenses were covered, the rest would be PROFIT. The thing ran for FREE!
If you are like most humans, you probably hate those computer calls. Yes, the calls were consistent;… but consistently annoying to everyone who answered the phone.
But I was so swept with the possibilities, I ignored good sense and invested $25,000….site unseen… from an advertisement I saw in SUCCESS Magazine. Sure, we spoke to the President of the company before plunking down the cash ….borrowed from my poor widowed mother. Our due diligence was lacking (ok, non-existent)….but who cared, because we were getting “exclusive rights to Alameda County, California”. We had to “make a decision in a 2 weeks because other people were starting to inquire about the same territory.” So the “takeaway close” worked on me… once again. After all, if we didn’t act now, we would lose out on this opportunity…forever.
Yes, they did sell out all the counties in Northern California. ….And then the company …disappeared.
DA All the support they promised, the clients they would bring us,…gone
DA the upgrades, the marketing…gone
DA the advertising and the revenue… gone.
It didn’t matter…because we KNEW what we were doing.
Want to hear more? Stay tuned