Since Extreme Business*, which took place a year ago, the Bug Zapper has become a ubiquitous item in the households of many South Africans. My brother-in-law, Pete, has since opened his own gift shop ‘Perfect Prezzies’ where he sells the Bug Zapper along with items of such high repute as the Stelton vase, the Osti cheese slicer and ‘Mr Grill Clean’. Pete tells me that the Bug Zapper easily sells more than any other item in the shop, ten to one.
So why is the Bug Zapper such a hit? Naturally, I had to make a list…
- Sensory exhilaration. Nothing beats the loud ‘crack’, accompanied by a bright spark of light, when you connect racket with bug.
- After action, satisfaction. The feeling of hitting the target is second only to getting away with putting a thumbtack on the teacher’s chair.
- Office harmony. It’s a great team-building tool. After Extreme Business, Shane, Andrew, Jon and myself, were racking up office bugs like George W. racks up ‘campaign investors’ in the Bible Belt.
- Your ‘form’. Get in shape for that tennis match against your business partner. It’s also a great way of teaching your kid to play the game. I guarantee that after this summer my 4 year old son, Mikael, will have a lethal topspin forehand.
- Peace of mind. It has a 1 yr warranty. Now, take a closer look at our cheap-ass competitors’ products and see where on the packaging it says that?
- Seamless delivery. It gets delivered to your door. Click-click.
- College education. The Bug Zapper offers a nice alternative to coinage or cards for a drinking game. After 4 beers, see how long you can hold your finger on the wires.
- Marital harmony. When your spouse stumps you with some irrelevant, side-tracked retort to your perfectly reasonable viewpoint, merely whip out the ‘zapper, lightly brush the strings against her / his arm / rump / leg / forehead, and consider the matter closed.
- No muss, no fuss. Try as you might, you won’t find a single remaining bug part after you’ve evaporated that pesky mosquito with your trusty Bug Zapper.
- O-zone friendly. Do me a favour; take a small whiff of the bug spray in your closet. Surely that stuff is harmful to more than just bugs…?
I’d love to get some feedback from anyone who bought one or who’s considering buying one for Christmas. (Let me know if I’ve left out anything…)
*Extreme Business is the event that kick-started the Ideate blog. The event pitted 4 simple-minded entrepreneurs against time: we had to come up with an idea for a business, set it up and make it ‘sustainable’ in 3 days. The Bug Zapper was the product that we chose to sell, and the e-commerce website www.bugzapper.co.za is the end-result of all our hard-labour.
UPDATE: As of November 2006, it’s been just over a year since the Bug Zapper site was launched, and we’ve sold 1,118 rackets.