Let the game begin
It has been 365 days since the launch of the Wistitee website, almost as long as it takes to watch every episode of Dr. Who, or to comprehend a film by David Lynch! 365 days that flew by in the blink of an eye, taking us from the status of project developers, to that of full-fledged entrepreneurs. Wistitee went from childhood to adolescence: and that’s an event worthy of a 4th blog entry.
On March 30th, 2016, with a simple, feverish “click”, we deactivated our temporary home page and unveiled the project we'd been working on for such a long time that we started to feel as though we'd wandered into a veritable mental quagmire.
But there we were: the big day was upon us, and we stood proud and confident. Proud, because this was a project we had prepared with the utmost of care, and because we had poured our hearts into it. Confident because we were convinced of the quality of what we were about to deliver, both in terms of the platform itself and – of course – , of our T-shirts. And we were absolutely certain of one thing: we were ready. How wonderful it is to be innocent!
Yes, it would only be a few weeks before we’d receive a giant slap in the face. We'd been told: opening an e-commerce website is like starting a retail outlet in the desert; it would be our job to turn it into an oasis. It would fall to us to get artists interested in the platform, to promote it, find partners, manage and create content, communicate on a variety of channels, attend conventions, and answer all your (wonderful) requests: this is what kept us busy, day in, day out, 99% of the time. The remaining 1% was for our weekly shower and/or to fiddle with the joystick of a PS4 (which we had no time to actually switch on).
A relentless race to constantly improve how our site functions and what we offer, each day full with as many things to do as Link is busy with his many appearances… Fortunately, all the positive feedback you sent us on social networks or at conventions, the support of our artists, and the emergence of our first loyal customers provided us with sufficient shots of dopamine to keep us on track.
But we couldn’t ignore reality: sales that were below expectations meant we wouldn't financially be able to implement many of our new projects, raise our company profile, or even deposit any money whatsoever into our own accounts, making us feel more like Peter Parker struggling to break free of his Aunt May than Tony Stark, surfing in swimming pools teeming with dollar bills at his new estate.
But little by little, we started meeting people. A conversation began with support services for businesses that exist in our little country, and we made the acquaintance of folks willing to turn an attentive (and clean) ear to our problems; suddenly, we began to find ways to unravel all the knots.
Forced to hit pause and take an objective look at our situation, we got our sleepy little brains back in gear and began to dream of what the future could be. And the good news is that others have come to believe in it along with us. For 2 weeks now, Wistitee has joined a startup accelerator: Digital Attraxion. In the offing: an audit of our current status, seed financing to carry out our ideas, and a Bat-Coach to give us a good-ole kick in the arse to help us.
You’ve surely guessed it by now: in the weeks and months to come, a number of innovations will make their way onto our site, appearing at times in fine brushstrokes, but also as a few major changes. And more than ever, we will need your feedback to tell us if we're on the right track, since today, we are at a turning point. But we are convinced of two things. The first is that, if we're still here, it's thanks to you. The second is that this is only the beginning. So are you ready to “level up” and stick with us for the next round?
François & Olivier