Cardstack was never meant to be a local product. Not that there would never be local customers, but more in the sense that the target market is pretty wide. It’s small, lightweight and is easy to ship — perfect for an “Internet product”. Product and distribution was all thought with an international mindset.
But no matter how large the market is or how global the potential audience is, the initial market is often within your close circle of friends and contacts. Obvious, right? Well, this is something that was underestimated with Cardstack. Good products spread through word of mouth — especially for a fairly unknown brand that first need “social validation” — so reaching out first to your contacts make sense.
But of course there’s always the fear and anxiety of showing the world something new and being exposed to criticism. Is it good enough? Can it be refined? Is there really a market?
Overall, it’s probably why Cardstack was soft launched at first. After a few international orders, the market-fit was confirmed and only then did I feel ready to talk more openly about it. And then a flood of orders came in from friends, contacts, friends of friends and contacts of contacts. The global product was suddenly all local for a few days and it did put Cardstack on to a good start.
Wether it’s software or a physical product, consumer or business product, it’s easier to sell to people you know than to strangers. This makes any product a local product at first.