I'm in NYC right now, in the middle of a 10-day trip that also includes a few days in Toronto. One of the things I've been trying to do this year is downsize everything and use only what I need, so I decided to take this opportunity to carry on my baggage rather than check it.
My goal of downsizing everything also included my briefcase. I have use for one, but not something that's too big. The last thing you want when you walk on a plane is for people to roll their eyes at the "carry on champion" coming through...
Found some really nice stuff, but more or less, everything was the same as what I already have-- big ass bags designed for laptops. Not what I was looking for.
So what's the solution? The "man purse."
A MAN PURSE?! Hell yes. Makes sense, but won't it make me gay or something? Those are the rumors, you know. At the very least, you're a target for one of the many "I Hate Hipsters" websites that have popped up over the last few months.
This is the problem bag manufacturers have had... A "man purse" makes sense, and with all the gadgets men are carrying around these days, it makes more sense every day. But it's something new...and this can be a hard sell, especially when the only thing similar is traditionally a "women-only" product.
Avoiding a problem like this is one of the reasons why I suggest that you copy other musicians. No reason to work any harder than you have to, right?
The truth is, while it may be a "low-hanging fruit" to sell what is already a proven product or service, and you can make plenty of money doing this, if you can introduce something brand new to the market successfully, you'll make 100x the money. This is because you'll own the market.
What you do doesn't even have to be brand new; the best things are derivative works developed from something that already exists. Like a "man purse." This is just a bag made for women, that everybody knows about and sees the advantage of owning, but with a skull or something on it, so men won't question their sexuality when wearing one.
Apple didn't invent the mobile phone, they just made it better. They didn't invent the laptop, they just made it better. They're introducing something "similar but different" and it's paying off big...and fast.
The first iPhone model took 73 days to cross the million mark. The iPad did the same thing in just 28 days.
Why? The iPad is "similar but different" to the iPhone. People didn't have to be sold on the applications and uses this time. And it's "similar but different" to a laptop, too, so that's bringing more people in.
Want a music business example? CD Baby is one. Derek Sivers wasn't the first guy to sell music online; he was the first guy to do it "similar but different" though.
Every business has a "man purse." What is yours?