Friday, August 04, 2006

Unexpected Discoveries

Have you ever found a website by accident?

I used to more than I do these days. When I first started browsing the web I would start out looking for something specific, and end up getting distracted by all the cool sidelines. Before I knew it I had found all sorts of wonderful pages, and totally forgotten where I had wanted to go in the first place. (I'm sure my ADD was a huge help in each explorative adventure.)

I've grown a little more disciplined since then. I can generally ignore those tiny offshoots and keep my eye on the prize. But every once in awhile I stumble on something that catches my attention and "poof" I'm off again. It's not a bad thing, I enjoy my finds. It goes with my whole spontaneous thing.

Today I went to check my mail at Gmail. (Which, btw, I could write a whole entry on, I love this product. I couldn't live without it.) In my hurried self-assured way of typing I had made a mistake and typed in 'gamil" instead. (Is there such thing as "Typing Dyslexic"?) I found this very cool site: Gamil

I almost ignored the site, the primal urge to know who might have sent me an email is overpowering sometimes. But there is a small disclaimer at the bottom of the page that somehow caught my eye: "You may have arrived here by misspelling Gmail. We understand. Typing fast is not our strongest skill. We have met a lot of new friends online though and our web traffic is through the roof from visitors from all over the world. So we're putting ads here to help us pay for all the bandwidth. "

I like humor. Dry humor, sarcastic and acidic suits my tastes just fine. So I obliged them and checked out their ads. But while I was there I had a look at the site, and the company, itself.

These are cool peeps. I was there five minutes and I decided I had to own their tea infuser called the TeaStick. I love innovative people. And Gamil has impressed me on three levels.

First, they took what could be potentially devastating traffic and made humor out of it. They took the problem of too much traffic and asked visitors to click on ads to generate money to help with the extra bandwidth, and didn't whine. (Oh I hate whiners.)

Second, they have a nice, clean website that is easy to navigate, and they clearly have talent. And that talent extends to a few very cool inventions, among them the TeaStick.

Third, they used used the gmail/gamil problem to give them an opportunity to market said products. This, it seems to me is an example of the difference between getting by and becoming successful. Opportunity knocks, but not everyone hears the knocking. These guys not only opened the door, they gave opportunity the grand tour of their house.

A lot of things come to us by accident. Being prepared to take advantage of the accident is a matter of vision. I only typed badly, and I found an item I will most certainly purchase. Gamil had more than earned the business.

Makes ya rethink think marketing a little, doesn't it?

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