Each day, I spend a few minutes or more studying marketing, new products and trends in the writing industry. I study trends in technology, too, because that influences writing directly these days. If a product or company has learned something new about marketing and reaching people, I want to know.
Today's browsing exposed me to an awesome product that I can't wait to get my hands on.
One of my pet peeves with our modern world is the planned obsolescence built into almost everything. Things break. Then you have to buy a new thing. Companies have actually done research on how long a widget needs to last for a consumer to be satisfied with their purchase. Then they engineer the widget to break just after that point. Seriously. Like many others I know, I think these designers and developers are starting to err on the side of annoying their customers. Personally, I read the reviews for any major purchase before making it. I'm choosing my next car based on customer reviews. It won't be a new car. I want one with a proven track record.
It was only a matter of time before someone realized that consumer annoyance created a huge demand for a product that fixes widgets.
May I have the great pleasure of introducing you to sugru.
Sugru is a moldable, silicon based rubber putty that bonds to almost everything and cures over-night. Go ahead -- search Youtube for the videos on how people are using this stuff. Be prepared to want some. I have three gadgets that I've been nursing along that I bet I can fix with this stuff. I'm also thinking about all of those high-priced accessories that have cheap knock-off imitations with a weak-point. What if I Sugru'd (y'know - like MacGyver'd!) some of those?
The stuff is heat-resistant, insulating, water-proof. That means dishwasher safe. You open the tiny package, mold it into whatever you want, let it cure for 24 hours and it is set. You can scrape it off later if you need to. The most common use seems to be fixing power cords that are breaking. People are also using it to make custom mounts for gadgets. (Wrap the gadget in plastic wrap first.) Something wobbling because you lost the little rubber foot? Make a new one out of sugru. Or, decide you like the bright color of sugru better and replace all of the feet.
Right now it is only available in limited places in the US. I want to talk to my local hardware store about ordering it. BUT -- you can mail order it at: sugru.com .
So, what did I learn from sugru? Fill a need. Let happy customers do your marketing for you. Read Jane's story. One of my favorite quotes is this: Stop listening to other peoples advice. Go with my gut.
Sugru isn't brand new, but it was new to me. Her story fits so well with the inspiration and drive and patience that it takes to succeed as an independent author, I just had to share. Now I'm off to buy some!