Tuesday, June 3, 2014

3 Business Lessons from Rainbow Looms - The Loom Craze

It hit us so fast that the only thing you can say is, where'd it come from!?

That was my initial reaction seeing everyone crazy for these colorful rubber bands. Yes, I see them as rubber bands, the ones which girls use to tie their hairs. In every story, there is a lesson. Here are 3 of the business lessons you can learn from the Rainbow Loom craze:

1) Persistence
Rainbow Looms were invented in 2010 by Cheong Choon Ng (Malaysian Chinese). He first called it Twistz Bandz, which obviously didn't fly, and used a wooden board, pushpins and dental hooks. He said that in 2013, he will be coming up with a deluxe upgrade kit. Over 3 million Rainbow Looms had been sold over 2013. (Just an FYI Rainbow Loom is the one used to describe the plastic thing where you shoot the small rubber bands and create various shapes and forms out of the rubber bands themselves)

If he wasn't persistent enough, he wouldn't have seen this success that he has now. One indicator (not a good thing) of success is the proliferation of imitation Rainbow Looms. There are also law suits now for copying the concept as Ng has patented Rainbow Looms.

In every business or whatever we are doing, persistence or the lack thereof might be the cause of success or failure.

2) Don't limit your imagination
This success he has now is because of his daughters. The idea was conceived from his daughters as he watched them make rubber-band jewelry. He invested $10,000 in China and found a factory to make the parts. Then, he and his wife assembled it in their home. This father deserves a dad of the decade award for giving his daughter an improved toy AND a successful earning business. Without his imagination, he wouldn't have been able to make the Rainbow Loom and also, because of the limitless possibilities it can produce, it was a huge hit as only your imagination is the limit. Here are some of the stuff my sister made:

Here are other Rainbow Loom patterns found at the official Rainbow Loom website:
(There's also A LOT in Youtube. Search for it)

3) Innovation is key
Rainbow Loom was officially patented as the "Brunnian link making device and kit". This doesn't ensure that you are not copied. It will just prove that you invented it or first thought about it but you still have to fight your way through it all. I'm not saying copying is okay. I'm saying that if you are just safe-guarding what you have without innovating, chances are, people will overtake you or make something better than what you have.

Thanks Mr. Ng for the inspiration you have shared to us!

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