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Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up - Page 13

post #181 of 16605
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post
 

I have to say that I enjoy reading this thread.

 

Now, I have a question about marketing and Schiit. Have you guys tried to send free review samples to the more "mainstream"/"huge" online publications, such as The Verge? There are two reasons I'm asking:

 

1) It seems to me that a favorable review by those "rockstars" could be a "make it or break it" deal, especially for smaller companies, don't you think?

2) I'm curious to know if you have tried, and why it didn't work out (I haven't seen any Schiit reviews on the Verge, but I have seen V-Moda there).

 

Why I chose The Verge specifically is because, first of all, I'm an avid reader but second and possibly most important, they seem just "crazy" enough to actually review your product. I mean, you have everything in favor for you: name, pricing (especially Magni, Modi), "Made in USA" and beautiful design that would propbably sell more to the mainstream than a black box with a red glowy LCD screen.

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I have a sneaky suspicion that it wouldn't just cost you a "free sample", so to speak. That maybe they'd like a "restaurant visit" as well, where you guys would "accidentally l" drop a stack of money under the table...

 

We're really not that interested. Contrary to some conspiracy theorists, all of our reviews in mainstream pubs have been from them approaching us, rather than the other way around. And pretty much all of them, with the exception of the New York Times review of Bifrost, showed:

 

(a) A profound lack of understanding of what matters in audio (real audio, not Bluetooth pocket speakers, noise canceling headphones, and iPods)

(b) A relatively lukewarm response, mainly centered around the product looking cool, or being made in the USA, or the name

 

We don't have the resources necessary to educate the mainstream reviewers (much less the public at large) on the nuances of great sound--and even if we did, they'd have to decide if it mattered to them. Some people spend a ton of money on their house, or model trains, or barbecues, or kitchen appliances, or bikes, or collectable figurines, or games, or home theater, or ten thousand other things...they've made their choice that that's what's important to them. Same with headphones, headphone amps, etc. We've decided these are important to us. Most other people won't understand it. They never will. And marketing, by and large, won't change that.

 

Andddddd...I have to say that I've seen a lot of great companies destroy themselves by chasing the green rabbit...they get some big exposure, demand surges, and the banks and investors step in to help: "Oh, you can grow a lot faster if you have a line of credit," or "we'd like to invest this many millions...and of course get interest on your board." And then they're on the investment/banking lockstep growth plan, where you'd better make your numbers, or suddenly they now control your business.

 

One thing I left out of the above chapter was this: I don't think there are any companies in audio doing a great job in marketing right now. Not the big guys, not the small guys, not Schiit. By the metrics of companies that really live and die by marketing (think Coke, Nike, etc), we're all amateurs. And that's fine. Because creating the 14th in a series of multi-media cross-promotions that's coupled to the year's hot movie with an insurance-backed contest centered around social sharing with user experience metrics is a great way to lose your soul.

 

Stay small, stay human.

post #182 of 16605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post
 

 

We're really not that interested. Contrary to some conspiracy theorists, all of our reviews in mainstream pubs have been from them approaching us, rather than the other way around. And pretty much all of them, with the exception of the New York Times review of Bifrost, showed:

 

(a) A profound lack of understanding of what matters in audio (real audio, not Bluetooth pocket speakers, noise canceling headphones, and iPods)

(b) A relatively lukewarm response, mainly centered around the product looking cool, or being made in the USA, or the name

 

We don't have the resources necessary to educate the mainstream reviewers (much less the public at large) on the nuances of great sound--and even if we did, they'd have to decide if it mattered to them. Some people spend a ton of money on their house, or model trains, or barbecues, or kitchen appliances, or bikes, or collectable figurines, or games, or home theater, or ten thousand other things...they've made their choice that that's what's important to them. Same with headphones, headphone amps, etc. We've decided these are important to us. Most other people won't understand it. They never will. And marketing, by and large, won't change that.

 

Andddddd...I have to say that I've seen a lot of great companies destroy themselves by chasing the green rabbit...they get some big exposure, demand surges, and the banks and investors step in to help: "Oh, you can grow a lot faster if you have a line of credit," or "we'd like to invest this many millions...and of course get interest on your board." And then they're on the investment/banking lockstep growth plan, where you'd better make your numbers, or suddenly they now control your business.

 

One thing I left out of the above chapter was this: I don't think there are any companies in audio doing a great job in marketing right now. Not the big guys, not the small guys, not Schiit. By the metrics of companies that really live and die by marketing (think Coke, Nike, etc), we're all amateurs. And that's fine. Because creating the 14th in a series of multi-media cross-promotions that's coupled to the year's hot movie with an insurance-backed contest centered around social sharing with user experience metrics is a great way to lose your soul.

 

Stay small, stay human.


and i'm guessing you'll more easily keep doing what you really love, instead of "running the business" of doing what you really love

and get the guys "back in the shop" to hurry up on my lyr, i miss it !!   lol, 

enjoying your story and writing immensely jason !

post #183 of 16605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post
 

 

We're really not that interested. Contrary to some conspiracy theorists, all of our reviews in mainstream pubs have been from them approaching us, rather than the other way around. And pretty much all of them, with the exception of the New York Times review of Bifrost, showed:

 

(a) A profound lack of understanding of what matters in audio (real audio, not Bluetooth pocket speakers, noise canceling headphones, and iPods)

(b) A relatively lukewarm response, mainly centered around the product looking cool, or being made in the USA, or the name

 

 

 

For the record, Jason, I bought my Bifrost based on the positive comments made in The Absolute Sound.

post #184 of 16605

I enjoy the story as well.  Nice touch!

 

Oh, and I just ordered an Uber...

post #185 of 16605
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by UmustBKidn View Post
 

I'm all ears...

 

 

Extra credit if you actually know what that thing in the picture is

 

Beer bong?

post #186 of 16605
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post


Extra credit if you actually know what that thing in the picture is


Riiiiiiiiiiiii-cccoolllaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...

-Daniel
post #187 of 16605

I actually want to buy this as a physical book, when you finish writing it, Jason, would be awesome.

Really interesting stuff, particularly because i'm an engineer with a major in business and economics as well.

post #188 of 16605

Wonderful read so far, Jason. Listening to your Asgard 2 through the HE-400 right now, and can't believe something so clean and powerful can be priced at $250. Well done, Sir.

post #189 of 16605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post
 

 

We're really not that interested. Contrary to some conspiracy theorists, all of our reviews in mainstream pubs have been from them approaching us, rather than the other way around. And pretty much all of them, with the exception of the New York Times review of Bifrost, showed:

 

(a) A profound lack of understanding of what matters in audio (real audio, not Bluetooth pocket speakers, noise canceling headphones, and iPods)

(b) A relatively lukewarm response, mainly centered around the product looking cool, or being made in the USA, or the name

 

We don't have the resources necessary to educate the mainstream reviewers (much less the public at large) on the nuances of great sound--and even if we did, they'd have to decide if it mattered to them. Some people spend a ton of money on their house, or model trains, or barbecues, or kitchen appliances, or bikes, or collectable figurines, or games, or home theater, or ten thousand other things...they've made their choice that that's what's important to them. Same with headphones, headphone amps, etc. We've decided these are important to us. Most other people won't understand it. They never will. And marketing, by and large, won't change that.

 

Andddddd...I have to say that I've seen a lot of great companies destroy themselves by chasing the green rabbit...they get some big exposure, demand surges, and the banks and investors step in to help: "Oh, you can grow a lot faster if you have a line of credit," or "we'd like to invest this many millions...and of course get interest on your board." And then they're on the investment/banking lockstep growth plan, where you'd better make your numbers, or suddenly they now control your business.

 

One thing I left out of the above chapter was this: I don't think there are any companies in audio doing a great job in marketing right now. Not the big guys, not the small guys, not Schiit. By the metrics of companies that really live and die by marketing (think Coke, Nike, etc), we're all amateurs. And that's fine. Because creating the 14th in a series of multi-media cross-promotions that's coupled to the year's hot movie with an insurance-backed contest centered around social sharing with user experience metrics is a great way to lose your soul.

 

Stay small, stay human.

Recently I bought an Asgard 2, not due to marketing but due to someone taking the time and care to design a discrete circuit that didn't rely on opamps and gobs of negative feedback to get the job done. I suspect that an extra benefit might be low transient distortion. And DC coupling, no output cap carrying a load and having nonlinear side effects. Damn thing sounds very good.

post #190 of 16605
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post

 

“Marketing?” I know some of you are asking. “What does that have to do with engineering?”

 
Who’s going to kick you in the can? When will you do your writing, or company-building, or adventuring, or whatever you want to do?
 

a. What the heck is the difference between marketing agencies, advertising agencies, PR, social media, etc?

 

1. Hey, I did this for Sumo and Theta and my own company, so I have some experience.

 

1. Most companies are too terrified to be effective at marketing.

 

1. Fear is the mind-killer

 

a. Corollary 1: don’t believe nearly everything an agency tells you.

 

LOLOLOROFLCOPTER.

 

a post on smokingmeatforum.com

 

1. The most important thing is your website and e-commerce system.

 

5. Everything else comes after: shows, brochures, t-shirts, lifesize figurines of your founder, skywriting, heat-activated urinal billboards (which are actually a thing), sponsoring your own events, laser-blasting your logo on the surface of the moon, etc…

 

Stay small, stay human.

 

Bravo. I selected a few items from this chapter that seemed most pertinent. Oddly enough, the best things came from the first items in your lists... as well as a few other select lines (you win +100 Internets for saying LOLOLOROFLCOPTER).

 

You do make a lot of lists. Interesting. The gestalt of this chapter can be found there, and in the first and last sentences.

 

Oh, and someone else left this little tidbit...

 

>> Q: Extra credit if you actually know what that thing in the picture is

>> A: Madonna's bra (circa 1920) ?

 

LOLOLOLROFLCOPTER.

post #191 of 16605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post

“That’s like the nanomanipulators in Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age,” I said.

Alright, now I feel like you're purposely trying to pull at my heart strings (and it's working).
post #192 of 16605

I was sort of looking forward to Schiit urine-activated-brochure-on-a-t-shirt till that sorta killed it.

post #193 of 16605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post

We're really not that interested. Contrary to some conspiracy theorists, all of our reviews in mainstream pubs have been from them approaching us, rather than the other way around. And pretty much all of them, with the exception of the New York Times review of Bifrost, showed:

(a) A profound lack of understanding of what matters in audio (real audio, not Bluetooth pocket speakers, noise canceling headphones, and iPods)
(b) A relatively lukewarm response, mainly centered around the product looking cool, or being made in the USA, or the name
I'd add to (b) that the product wasn't expensive enough to be taken seriously.
post #194 of 16605
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post
 


Extra credit if you actually know what that thing in the picture is...

 

 

It's a pre RADAR acoustic aircraft detector. This particular model dates from about 1921, Boiling Field Airforce Base in the US.


Edited by dc-k - 2/8/14 at 12:44am
post #195 of 16605

Quote:

Originally Posted by HPiper View Post

Extra credit if you actually know what that thing in the picture is...

 

 

Why, its a Headphoneus Supremus, of course.

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