Chapter 4 Birth of Setsuden-mushi (a profitmaking device) 4.2 Setsuden-mushi's Growth Expectations and Setbacks 4.2.4 The Setsuden-mushi in the insect cage (*)
As mentioned above, on December 21, 1994, less than half a year after the development of the Setsuden-mushi prototype, the Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun reported on Setsuden-mushi as the top story on page 5, and in February 1995, the article was published in English in THE NIKKEI WEEKLY (https:// 1drv.ms/u/s!Ai_aaa4f_vZzgnn-ot9BFGCnqrLD?e=x1Zwef), and in JETRO's NEW TECHNOLOGY JAPAN (https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ai_aaa4f_vZzgnaTNwr81EdwA-Ax?e=dRe5ui). In addition, by April, two English-language magazines, CUMPUTER PRODUCTS and TECHNO JAPAN, also covered the Setsuden-mushi prototype. It was enough to make us think that the future of Setsuden-mushi would be full of smooth sailing. After all, these were the first consecutive reports in less than a year since the development of Setsuden-mushi.
To celebrate the first year of the development of Setsuden-mushi, we tried a free trial campaign and sales of 30 units of Setsuden-mushi in May 1995. However, the name "Setsuden-mushi" was not as well-known as we had imagined. People's knowledge of energy-saving products in general was also not as widespread. Furthermore, due to the fact that people were not very conscious about saving electricity, about half of the Setsuden-mushi we manufactured were given away free of charge so that people could see the effects of saving electricity, and the other half were left in stock without being sold.
The free trial campaign and sales were disastrous, despite seven domestic and sometimes global articles in the past year.
I felt as if I understood a little more about the difficulty and severity of getting people to buy and understand a new product. This was a lesson that I could not have learned in my previous line of work (which was not in product sales). The only saving grace was that I did not make hundreds or thousands of Setsuden-mushi during this period, but instead used handmade products to see the response, so this failure did not hurt me much.
(*) ‘Setsuden’ and 'mushi' in Japanese are electricity saving and an insect in English respectively, but the latter can also mean 'a small thing' figuratively in Japaese. That is why the words ‘cage’ is used here. Then ' Setsuden-mushi ' means a small device for electricity saving.)
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