Tuesday 23 August 2011

Adam Noakes: my super startup business plan

Adam Noakes. Photo by courtesy of Adam Noakes


Company name:

'Withdrawn Society'


Elevator pitch:

Withdrawn Society is Facebook meets Justin Bieber, mixed with some Grey Goose Vodka and Robitussin, blasted through Beats by Dre Headphones.

Business activity:

Withdrawn Society is an experience for the people. Digital, physical, theoretical. Delivered through a series of online faux pas, publicity stunts, endorsements and merchandise.


Funding needed:

A few million (Pounds, Dollars, Euros) plus a lawsuit contingency budget.


Estimated return:

Billions in revenue. Millions in profit. Hundred of thousands of hearts, minds and souls.



Mostly everyone.



Mostly everyone.


Business and marketing plan:

The majority of the marketing budget will go on endorsements. A carefully assembled team will trawl the web, looking for celebrity figures who will gladly promote the good name of 'Withdrawn Society' for a fee, and in some cases, a share in the company. Some of these characters will sport our range of headphones, which we've deliberately held back on stock pending a Twitpic campaign with [Insert musician]. T-shirts will form the basis of a more complex campaign, involving an up-and-coming musician, just as they hit that first run of fame. The lack of revenue received by [Insert musician] per album sold, will help to drive their involvement in the campaign. (Profit from Album sale = £/$ 2.00 Profit from T-shirt sale = £/$ 6.00)

Appointing a president will be a key driver in our desired perceived image. [Insert famous actor] will act as sensible businessman and head of the corporation. [Inset actor] actual role will be to fill the product launch parties with other respected peers, gaining the press attention we require and, of course, adding to the desirability of our latest tablet device.

Price points are important. The main difference between our products and that of the competition are the respective endorsements we have, the RRP, and the sale price points. Of course, it is widely accepted in the industry that in terms of technology, they are practically the same. [Insert super-rich factory complex] are sure to change the colours of components, so that bloggers will fail to recognise (as an example) the unparalleled similarities between our oversized, celebrity endorsed headphones, and that of [insert less desirable brand] offering.

The final and most significant part of our plan. The Internet. It is proven that you can convince anyone of anything online. Adding URLs to the end of Music videos and promotional 'Viral' videos will be the initial step in our online dominance. The data team is working on the essential elements that will need to be captured for maximum resale of data value. Logins with [Insert social network] will be added to the site as a matter of familiarity. The technical team says we do not actually need to invest or provide much benefit to go alongside this functionality, which is good news. We will of course bring in [Insert high profile blogger] to 'leak' exclusive images of the newly-designed site, after which the legal team can deny all knowledge and subsequent 'lawsuits' can be issued.


Potential issues:

No unique offering. No long term vision. No morals. No passion. (This shouldn't pose any sort of problem)


Exit plan:

Initial Public Offering. Of course, we have respect for [Insert company with most similarities], and their [Insert excuse - for example 'technical team'] would certainly compliment the [Insert second excuse - for example 'product marketeers'] at 'Withdrawn Society', although any merger/sale/share dilution/executive poaching/closure would be some way off.


Mission statement:

To empower the world to experience a new kind of passion, through the love of freedom.



Adam Noakes is Head of Strategy at 140 Digital, and is @digitaladam on Twitter.

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