The one where I over-think having a “Think Tank”

For the most part, with HaldeCraft, I know exactly what I want. I know what products I want to add, what lines I never want to get into no matter how often I’m asked, where and how I want to advertise. Most of the time, when people start up a conversation with “Do you know what you should do?” I want to reply with “I know that you should shut your pie-hole!”.

But every once in a while, I want advice. Even though advice is what you ask for when you already know the answer but wish you didn’t. Because sometimes I tend to over-think things. So I need to get out of my own head and listen to others, especially if it’s a ridiculously easy question like “Do you think I should call it Pair of cereal bowls in Pumpkin Spice or Pumpkin Spice cereal bowls (set of two) or oh, wait, maybe I should go with…. ??”– I can seriously agonize over that for a day or longer. Color first? Item type first? Which makes more sense? Alad;sfa;dsfja;dsfjas;dj!!! MY CRAZY: LET ME SHOW YOU IT.

So I was then thinking… maybe I should gather a few people together for a HaldeCraft Think Tank. People upon whom I could rely for honest feedback on things like “what do you think about cereal bowl titles” or “please try this cucumber lemon lip balm and tell me if you think it’s a good idea” or “doing an outside craft fair in July with no tent, yes or no”.

But then I started to over-think the Think Tank idea. Would these be people I mail a product to every month or so for feedback? How much would that cost me, if I have a lot of people in the Think Tank? Would the feedback, constructive criticism, and possible blog posts by them or recommendations be worth the price of the item? Or would I charge them, and send them x-product once a month? How can I morally charge people for a product that I’m then going to ask for feedback on? How can I rewrite that sentence so it’s not ending in a preposition? But if I need feedback on something right away, how can I pressure them for an answer when they’re busy? Am I supposed to pay them? Am I paying in “free” product? Or maybe it’s a group/forum kind of thing, where mostly I ask questions, but two or three times a year send out products for testing? Except that I’m pretty much done expanding product-wise, and now am working on expanding within those product lines. So it would be more like testing new flavors, fragrances, or base yarns rather than “here, try this New Sparkly Magic Thing”.

And… and… and….

So as you can see, I can’t even make up my mind about HOW a Think Tank should be run, and am over-thinking the Think Tank… which means perhaps it’s an idea I need to step away from.

Except that I can’t make up my mind on those damn titles.

7 thoughts on “0

  1. Can you do some sort of testing? Like, make two posts with the same content, one with one title style and one with the other, then see which gets more traffic/sales?

    Also, don’t be me. Don’t over-think things.

    1. Well, I’d have to have the stock to do that (so, let’s say two sets of Pumpkin Spice bowls). Then I’d want to delete the current listing (making that link no longer valid), and make both listings at roughly the same time so that I could easily track and compare the views/hits. And I’m way too lazy for that. 😉 Also, then, what if it was “better” the way I haven’t been doing it? Then I’d have to change all my titles, which would make all incoming links invalid… SEE I THINK TOO MUCH (but I could never be you, I can’t rock the facial hair… oooo, unless I ran away and joined the circus….?).


  2. I have two answers, just to offer even more choices.
    1) I always prefer to see categories first when I’m looking at products. I would like to know that I’m looking at Cereal Bowls in Pumpkin Spice (set of 2).
    2) You should make up a questionnaire for your Think Tank. Let us know what type of answers you are looking for within your various categories: yarn, ceramics, soap, balm. Ask who would like to participate in which categories. I could help with soap and balm, but would be of less use with ceramics (although still willing), and of no use with yarn. Tell people that it could be that many questions don’t require product testing, and if it does, find out if the product is something they would buy anyways. These are your friends. They will tell you that.

    1. You know, it occurs to me that I could change the name of the already listed items without changing the link title (if that makes sense). New items moving forward would have the new naming system on both titles and links, but everything already listed would just…er, cosmetically, have the name changed.

      As far as the questionnaire thing, you have definitely given me something to think about – but I need more coffee to process it! 🙂

  3. I can tell you right now that I agree with Quinn on the listings: I would find a listing like “cereal bowls in pumpkin spice (set of 2)” to tell me what I want to know in an order that my brain likes to process. 🙂

    I could see there being a couple of versions of think tank running at the same time.
    1. A version that uses surveys to get feedback on new ideas (like asking if people find the idea of this or that scent combination better)
    2. A version that uses your local friends to get feedback when you’ve run an experiment and you want people’s thoughts on a hands on use.

    If you don’t have enough locals that fit into a think tank group, that would be more difficult. I can see shipping costs being a serious hurdle and it’s tough to ask people to pay to help you test products. Some of us might jump at the chance, however. 😉 Quinn also makes a good point on the different categories, too — I would also be useless as a yarn think tank member. I might be able to say that I find a colorway appealing, but you’re just getting my favorite color responses, which would be less than useful, I suspect.

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