Seriously though - how did he get away with all that kissing??
The things you learn from researching for a blog.. Apparently not only did Richard Dawson begin kissing women to help a nervous contestant on the very first week of shooting "Family Feud," but he even kissed his future wife at one point, of course when she was just another set of midwestern lips.
My first survey
As my first survey is complete I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. I took statistics in college but I admitted then and would reiterate today - not my favorite course. Unless of course, the answers mean something.
In Blake Snyder's wonderful and insightful Save The Cat! screenwriting book, he talks about the importance of soliciting feedback for your idea long before you put pen to paper or fingers to keys. He suggests going to your favorite coffee shop and running your movie logline by a few strangers. Watch their faces - do they instantly look confused? Excited? Intrigued? Or worse do they ask you to explain questions that you thought you had just answered.
His point is don't just ask mom or dad or girlfriend and call it a day
- especially if she's really into you.
"It's like, really good Shaun. Like, really - really good!"
You want real feedback. A movie might only cost you $10K if you're thrifty but it'll suck two years or more from your life. A book or novel might not cost you financially but you'll wake up after five years, counting your new grey hairs and wondering why you wrote 600 pages about a murder mystery set at a flea market in New Mexico.
Actually that's not a bad premise.
* * *
So for those who were wondering, no - I wasn't seeking blind loyalty or fake positivity
This is why I made my first survey anonymous. I already know what certain friends might think - for better or worse. What I really wanted was for you the audience to picture this like I am picturing it - what a "new" Homestead Bicycles might look like today. What lessons did that 19 year old kid really learn? What mistakes or missteps do I need to avoid this time? What did I do right that I didn't give myself enough credit for and that I should double down on if I relaunch today?
The short answer?
Listen to my heart.
After all it was my heart that told me to name the bike after a lizard. My heart that told me to create a stiffer rear triangle and more responsive handling. My heart that told me to embrace the soul of the brand and run with it, grabbing from any place I could for inspiration - A cookie tin, a Van Halen song, a little house on Coleman Valley Rd., in fact the first t-shirt borrowed from an inscription I found in a children's book given to my dad and uncle when they were young.
Listening to you
According to you, the audience, Homestead Bicycles was a small bmx company and clothing brand that you heard about from either Go: The Rider's Manual, a friend or sibling, or most commonly, from me.
And I certainly don't remember hitting on any babysitters.
The majority of you did not own a bike and that didn't seem to matter to your perception of the brand. That's not to say nobody owned a bike - 30 in fact - but both bike owners and non-bike owners shared virtually the same opinion: style matters.
And "soul" is evident
Google search> Seth
I've written before about how certain songs seem to come out or be discovered at certain times, permanently attaching themselves to a trauma, a transition, a new adventure or a new love. In the same way I seem to find or to be exposed to a few books in the last couple of years that have really helped this journey. So it is fitting that I listened to a podcast I haven't listened to for awhile -by Tim Ferris - and discovered the amazing and insightful marketing of Seth Godin. And yes the book came out the day I launched the survey.
Stories? Really? You don't say...
This is one of my favorite Tom Petty songs - and yes I have a lot of Petty favorites. It's a John Sebastian song but Tom does it way better so I highly recommend giving it a listen.
"And if you ever wonder why we ride this carousel, we did it for the stories we could tell"
So does my story resonate?
And if the story resonates, what did people want in 1991 VS. what do they want today?
Cut to the chase
No need to dance around. Although I'm sure many questions were fun and I hope nostalgic, there really was one question that prompted the entire survey. Should I or should I not relaunch Homestead Bicycles?
As expected there were many positive comments, some over the top "GO FOR IT DUUUDEs," a few definite "don't do its," but the most common opinion was do it - with cautious optimism. Which I would agree with and appreciated hearing.
What's a creative soul to do? Follow the butterfly..
..and reconnect with the community
What now? Brian and Kevin have a trailer to edit, and looks like I've got a business plan to write.
See you at the screening!