1 Million Cups 9/7/2016

Have you ever thought about the potential diseases that the food you’re eating might cause… while you’re eating lunch? Or the toxins that the skincare product that you’re using might be putting on your skin… when you get out of the shower? Or what about, what kind of germs you’re picking up… when you walk into a bathroom at your local gas station? Wonder no more, the Johns Specialists and Merry Crate to the rescue!

1 Million Cups on Wednesday, September 7th was quite the dichotomy of on-demand vs. made-to-order. Damien Wade of the Johns Specialists pitched first with his “uber for toilet cleaning” services. That’s right, folks. Bathroom cleaning on-demand (30-minutes or less) for small businesses who don’t have the staff to ensure that their restrooms stay presentable. Surprisingly a hit amongst the audience, everyone immediately understood Wade’s short presentation, the value proposition, and how his service could fix the problem. Though not yet launched, Wade is in talks with a team in India to build an app (to accommodate the “instant gratification” component of ‘Murica). He intends to use the app to present the expected time of arrival to the business owner as well as capture data to use as an up-sell on additional cleaning services. Stay tuned for his launch in the coming months.

Aidee Granados pitched next and gave everyone the feels with her visualization exercise to kickoff her pitch. Yes, we can all imagine a world where 100% natural products are right at our fingertips. For those of us that are interested in living a 100% non-toxic lifestyle and joining a community of people who help to create a non-toxic lifestyle, Merry Crate is for you. Merry Crate is marketplace of made-to-order foods and personal care products from people and locations that create them. This means Merry Crate is the exact opposite of on-demand… so… about that “at your fingertips” thing… The Merry Makers cannot get you a non-GMO cake in an hour. They don’t have one frozen. And, in some cases, they may not even be able to deliver it to you. But, it will be non-GMO, delicious, and worth the wait, money, and lack of GMO. Having just launched in the Dallas market, Granados has had 55 orders to date, with 38 total products on the site, made by a total of 8 Merry Makers. Her quality and standards are high, so if you’re interested in being a Merry Maker, know someone who you think could qualify to be one, or are interested in supporting her launch, please reach out to Granados directly at missmerry@merrycrate.com. Merry Crate is also looking for funding to support the launch of their app, used predominantly for discovery and connecting with Merry Makers. It’s an uphill battle in a dual-sided market, but as a breast cancer survivor, the community was confident in her ability to deliver and gave her their full support. (The free goodies and prizes hidden in the audience certainly helped.)

The takeaway from 1 Million Cups on Wednesday, September 7th was give and ask for feedback. Networking is as much about connecting with each other as it is about sharing the experience with someone else. Who knows, your go-to-market strategy could change after a great conversation with a community member. That, or you’ll realize that you don’t actually have to create an app to make your idea a reality.

Feedback: It’s an inexpensive way to avoid over-developing your experience.

Debra Swersky

Debra has spent her career building, scaling, and managing operations in start-up organizations. Companies such as Inside Sports & Entertainment Group, SCVNGR/LevelUp, Visible Measures, and High Start Group have used Debra’s enterprising energy to facilitate their exponential growth.