Founders Series: Part One – Trial and Error

Hey, folks! Hope you’re having an elevated day!


One purpose of the Helium blog is to share our journey with you – to let you in on our lives and allow you to gain a deeper understanding of who we really are…besides your friendly neighborhood book delivery guys. With this in mind, we’ve decided to create the Founders Series – an evolutionary category of posts, each with the purpose of sharing a specific part of our story with you. On behalf of Jacob and myself, we’re thrilled to get underway. Let’s go.


I wanted part one of this series to summarize our journey from the date of our launch, back in early September, to this very moment. Quite honestly, it didn’t take long to come up with the topic of discussion – trial and error. It’s at the core of what we do each and every day.

And without it…success just isn’t possible.


Listen, we’re a crying, can’t-open-their-eyes-yet, delicate newborn baby compared to the incumbents in the market we’re looking to disrupt. The metaphorical parents in this scenario – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. – are in complete control. Yet, what we have that they may not, is the ability to try, adapt, iterate, and measure at a speed they have trouble matching due to the inevitable stodginess of a large corporation and multi-tiered corporate structure. We have no delusions that they have the resources and talent to find and exploit new opportunities, but we have the unique ability to start small, figure out what works, attract a loyal following locally, and grow organically and robustly. It may sound simple, but it certainly is not easy, especially when you aren’t quite sure where to even begin…


That’s where trial and error comes in. There’s no way to know for sure what will help you build a loyal brand following, or what will help you reach potential customers most effectively, or what will help you convert interested individuals into Helium readers. So, how do you operate within such uncertainty?


You try something that you think might work.


For us, starting out, we consistently want to generate buzz around this new idea of free book delivery. So, we’re always revisiting the same question…


“What might work?”

Truth be told a lot of things might work. Social media, traditional media, digital advertising, flyers, email marketing, etc., etc…even blogging might work. As the ideas come in, we do our research and make a plan to execute, never knowing which avenue could lead to the Promised Land. We try, try, and try some more – measuring success or failure along the way, making informed decisions about how to proceed. Of course, we’re constrained by budgetary limits and our own capabilities, but we operate within these restrictions, prioritizing progress and action rather than stagnation and indecision.


Being in the mere infancy of this business, everything is unknown. At times, it can be unsettling, but we know that the important thing always is to try. Even when we don’t know exactly what we’re doing. Even when chances of success seem slim and failure seems likely.


Because it’s okay to try and fail, but never okay to fail to try.


Trial and error is a continuous cycle – one rife with frustration, confusion, and hopelessness, but also one that brings about immense satisfaction. So far, I couldn’t claim that anything we’ve tried has been a true success or failure, it’s simply too soon to decipher. So, we keep going and when the time comes where we are able to determine success or failure, we double down or move on. And we never stop throwing new things at the wall to see what sticks.


We want this business to succeed for the sake of readers everywhere and we will try everything within our power to make that happen.


Because success is out there to be had, and it is only those looking for it that stand a chance of finding it.


Thanks for reading, talk soon.


#foundersseries #partone #trialanderror

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