I’m one of the few people who is absolutely fascinated by ABC’s Shark Tank. I don’t know why other people aren’t. It has everything in it: ambition, greed, ideas, pitching, money, business, and more.
It’s instructive as all hell and I’ve argued in Comments at another site that Mark Burnett should turn it into an entire cable TV channel because a one-hour show is just too compact and I’m frustrated by not being able to connect all the dots.
It returned two weeks ago and since I hardly watch any TV at all, I didn’t find out it was back until this week.
I caught up with its first return episode and the final minutes got me to thinking about both traditional print publishing and especially about DIY direct publishing.
Due to technical difficulties, I can’t embed a clip of it here from Hulu. So I call your attention to the episode at Hulu itself.
A guy is pitching what is basically a Netflix for printer ink cartridges.
Sounds like a neat idea until Kevin O’Leary drops the bomb of a question at about 39 minutes in:
What does it cost you to acquire a customer?
This is not an insignificant question. It’s crucial to the success of every business.
The guy can’t answer the question.
Can traditional print publishing answer this question?
Is anyone involved in DIY direct publishing even paying attention to this issue at all?
It makes me wonder.
It’s one thing to do something because you must — such as writing — but if it’s costing you US$200.00 in effort to make US$2.00 in profit for one sale, a better method needs to be found, wouldn’t you agree?