Continuing our look at the One-Hit Wonders featured in this week’s Wall Street Journal, the creator of Silly Bandz – brightly colored plastic bands shaped like animals that children wear as bracelets – got a good look at what it takes to make it happen, and what can happen if you’re not prepared for jaw-breaking success once it comes your way.
As told in the WSJ, the product was slow to take off until late 2007. Shortly thereafter, the product was featured on CBS News which lead to over 11 million hits on their website, crashing their server and inciting an onslaught of calls from retailers desperate for inventory. The company was unprepared and unequipped to keep up with the sudden demand, opening up the door for a rush of copycat products.
Even despite the imitator’s product infiltrating the market, demand for Silly Bandz is increasing abroad. Yet the creator says he has been preparing for a slowdown at home for more than a year, designing new products to release once the US market for the originals has hit its peak.
You will find yourself at key moments in time that could be the difference between reasonable success and truly making it big. I call them moments of mass exposure. Clearly, that moment for Silly Bandz was the CBS News coverage. The trick is to cultivate these moments so you’re ready for the firehose to open and can capitalize on that momentum. And once you have it, move on it! I have seen too many people rely on the fact that they made a small splash and never move forward into build a platform that allows their business to continue to grow. These moments of mass exposure are invaluable and fleeting. Do not miss the opportunity for your product to crescendo by resting on your laurels, and do not let your growing success make you too busy to grab these key moments when they appear.