Captain David’s 35% Rule
Last week was a bit of a rough go in the shipyard.
We went to step our masts, only to find that super-special, never-been-used-on-a-certificated-vessel-before rigging was made too short. The source of the error was quickly uncovered, the rigger’s mistake, and new shrouds were fabricated over the weekend and should be here Tuesday. But the misadventure was unwelcome delay and stress.
We have also had a bit of an adventure establishing an OEM account with Honda Marine. We don’t even want a line of credit with them; cash on the barrelhead. None-the-less, there has been a blizzard of paperwork (more than it took to refinance our house!) that has had to work it’s way through Honda’s considerable bureaucracy. More stress and delay.
But tonight I’ll lay my head down having finished the day with good news.
Our Honda rep called today to say our motors will ship this week. As mentioned above, the rigging is remade, and lastly, on Friday I was interviewed by a reporter from Dan’s Papers, the East End’s leading lifestyle weekly; which brings me to the above photo and my 35% rule.
About 20 years ago I read Harvey Weinstein quoted as saying “Even if I get a film for a dollar, I still have to spend $20 million marketing it.”
Harvey’s point was that celebration of many indie films’ low production budgets was misplaced, and proved nothing about what could be done on how ever little money.
My own experience as an independent producer/distributor is concordant with Harvey’s maxim. No matter how good your mouse-trap, marketing costs have to be factored into any endeavor, whether it be the sweat-equity of guerilla efforts, paying a publicity firm, or running ads in the paper.
And my maxim is that, in this noisy, media saturated world we live in, if you peg your marketing effort at anything less than 35%, you’re fooling yourself. (In my estimation, a number closer to 65% would be prudent for low-budget films, and something close to 85% for writing or music.)
Which is why we picked a design that makes an easy subject for distinctive photographs; and is also why I was down at the shipyard this evening, answering Dan’s Paper’s request for a couple of photos to run with their upcoming story by shooting them myself. (Another part of our “business-plan” is that my skills as a writer and image-maker could be turned from the collapsing world of independent media to the marketing of MON TIKI. Think “writing a book to make money on the lecture circuit”, only instead of TSA check-points and Motel 6, I get to stay home with my family and sail.)
Masts up, engines mounted, and we can splash. Everything else can be done when she’s afloat!