Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Trouble with Lists

I was maintaining a list for a long time. It seemed like a good idea at first and sometimes it actually worked out. Someone would email me and ask for something that I knew that I would be making down the road. I put their name on the list along with what they wanted. Some period of time later things would be done, I'd go back over it, see their name and send an email. One down, 68 to go.

The trouble was that months would go by and I still hadn't made Widget X for so and so. The list grew and grew. I'd hack away at it as best I could and all the while I'm thinking "Oh shit, I've got to get to Widget X....and Widget Y and Widget Z and all the other Widgets."

After awhile, say 6 months, I'd look over the list and decide that I'm never going to get to this request or that request. Or it's been too long, they will have lost interest by now. So I'd purge off anything older than 6 months.

And still the list grew. It was getting ridiculous, at one time over 80 requests from individuals. Some of these were for 6 or 8 different items and all were custom combinations of stuff. For instance, one guy might want a Wedgie4 with tiger stripes and camo cord wrap and also a brass whistle, a damascus skeeter, a Micro Bug Out Blade without V notch but with a satin finish and OD cord wrap and a tibaby with scalloped edges Area 51 grinds and blue bubbles. And he doesn't want it one at a time, he wants it all at once if possible. Just hold those first three for him while the others are getting finished because he wants it shipped together to save on postage. Yeah right, OK.

Well, I'll tell you, when you have one order like that it's not that big of a deal. You can get to it. But when you have 70 or 80 of these piling up with seemingly no end in sight and more coming in every day two things happen: First you thank God for your incredible good fortune and then you quietly begin to go insane. :D

So that's why I've taken a break from the custom requests and have been ignoring my list for awhile. It's just too much, plain and simple. And that's why I keep telling folks to check the site and this blog for info on what's coming up. I'm still feeling my way towards the best approach to the whole thing and I appreciate everyone bearing with me while I work it out.

So enough of my whining and apologizing! :-) This week, more Sumos and hopefully Skeeters. Also trying to get some more mini Keytons into the heat treat. Prybabies of all sorts in a week or so and a few Bug Out Bars both Micro and full sized. Whistles in 2-3 weeks and I hope there will be a few damascus ones available.


aikiman44 said...

Oh stop whining!

Only kidding! Got to go at your own pace,of course. (And I won't make any more requests).
Stay sane, eat chocolate,

Anonymous said...

I know how hard it is to find balance!! I am sure that you do the best for you, and for your customers.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Peter,

After a few weeks of the new system, I'd like to make one suggestion.

Could you post here exactly when the goodies will be listed for sale? For example, Skeeters available as of 9:00am EDT tomorrow.

I keep missing out because even the batch runs sell out in a matter of just a few hours. I just can't afford to check your site that often!

Anyway, just a thought.