WeChat ID joeytalks
the author: the eagle said
one late summer 2012, I in shenzhen, near the east gate of a small break room hotel for seven days.
my partner David called me, I regret to say: “Joey, we calculate the cost of has a problem.”
when our company opened more than 4 months, the two of us put all their savings into a project called “all mail” (please ignore, we already transformation, has no intention to advertise themselves), cross-border electricity sellers provide native American warehouse and drop shipping business. The Chinese side, including us, only five employees.
4 months passed, and we are close to run out of cash, and only a few dozen customers, business just a little better every day. I am in shenzhen around looking for potential customers. The American side, close to $1000 to our account every day.
cost calculation errors because when calculating the cost of logistics, we didn’t consider the supplier to our Rate Table contains only the dominant costs. In other words, only when we buy a house to see the boss of big advertising: “each square meter 5000 yuan”, didn’t see the back of the fine print: “up”. So when the supplier’s bills when we both stunned.
business have no way to have occurred, but now the only way is to adjust our price. And this, is bound to affect the hard very not easy to persuade us of the first customers. I can even imagine their anger: “at the beginning give us a price list said good, this is only a few days, will rise in price?”
but there is no way, if you don’t adjust the price, we have only a dead end.
so David in front of the computer, pants spent two hours, using Excel to recalculate the price again, and then got a new quotation. I was torn between, trembling, try to use the most sincere voice, write a mail to all customers. This kind of thing, there is no more effective than telling customers the truth. With sincere exchange for honest, the remaining, only in god’s hands. I even have lost half of their clients pessimism to prepare.
in the process of the email, I have to put the heart felt solemn and stirring to lacerate.
2 o ‘clock in the morning, send. It’s not all.
15 minutes later, I found that the calculating formula of the new price list is wrong.
when I pointed out question, both in silence for a long time, I even think I can hear the phone current sizzling. I know he is on the phone at one end, and I know that he knew I was in the end of the telephone. But 10 minutes later, who also didn’t speak, who also did not hang up the phone.
can you imagine? You just told all customers: I am a silly force, we made a mistake over the price. So, I’m sorry, in order not to loss, we can only increase the price. If you really don’t satisfied to leave, we can only regret.
15 minutes later, you find that you sent to the customer’s new quotation still is a mistake, will cause you still loss.
once and Tower. Im old shen, beheaded, ouyang chat hundred words. Talking about a topic is a startup so far when do you think is the most uncomfortable.
I tell them the story of the night. Ouyang said: “you this doesn’t consider as what, tolerance is too bad.” Ouyang ever since more than 5 years, the word is his second company. I am sure he has experienced more dark moments, is far beyond that.
in fact, now that I think about it, it’s really nothing. But that’s I just resign from treatment of a participating foreign venture of the fourth month. All this four months experience let me tired all the time in to the very verge of despair. That night, that a phone for more than four hours, lifelong unforgettable.
then see Tesla and ferry founder Elon recalls in the most desperate mood says, “I often woke up at midnight, I found tears drip on the pillows.”
Exactly, I this is fucking! Every day is, until that night, tears can not flow out agghh!
returned to that night. At 4 o ‘clock in the morning, I go downstairs and drank a bottle of spirit erguotou, then return to room holding the dead dead anyway, big deal closed state of mind to sent an email to all customers, enclosed we checked the latest price list of the 10 times over and over again.
then a sleepless night, until 9 o ‘clock in the morning, we began to turn to call all customers.
“sorry, we are going to rise in price. The cause of the rise in price is our silly force, the cost was wrong a word we screwed up. Yes, I send the new price list to you. No, it isn’t 2 points that, that’s still wrong, silly force it again to us. Yes, it is 4 o ‘clock.”
both David and I think the company will be shut down, the next day not working and so capricious and service providers, customers will let alone is a silly force and capricious and service providers.
a call, before I have even started to how to clean up this mess: settlement, severance, grey head grey face disappear, then become a disgrace to the industry and a byword to everyone.
this is my business in more than 1000 days, feeling the darkest night, David think so too.
I know you are concerned about the results, standing review at this time, the result is not important to me. I want to learn and experience everything here is enough, and the results without a dime.
In The End.
Well, don’t make. In order to satisfy your curiosity, the result is: there is no customer to leave. Everybody said understanding. We stand down. After a month, we got the first angel investment. A year later, sequoia capital threw A round for us. Company has not closed so far.
we are lucky. I know that the vast majority of start-ups, are pretty but that night. So it doesn’t matter at all with the reverse scenario.
this is my business 1000 days since the darkest night.
I’m sure most people don’t understand, Anyway, this is for your own words. I just remind you that it is better to prepare a midnight wakes up, find the day of the shed tears on the pillow.
are you ready?
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