Once upon a time, there was a promising upstart company. They invented a gee-whiz computer thing and it was looking competitive in some applications to take on the industry giants, and it was good. They got a deal worked out with a huge IT company you would know if I named them, and they bet the farm on the deal going through. It looked good. The plankowners could be rich, the investors could be rich(er), and the technology would take the computer world by storm, and it was good.
Then the huge IT company didn’t follow through on the deal, and it was bad. The company folded more-or-less instantly. My company went in and bought all their nearly-new crap to resell.
You know what though? I have little sympathy. They had let their eyes get off the ball. They had their name silkscreened on all their gee-whiz computer products, which is not so bad, really. They also had at least six different types of shirts, including some very nice Nike golf shirts, t-shirts, dress shirts, and double-sided perforated athletic shirts that could be reversed to have two company teams with different colors but the same shirt. They had koozies with printing on both sides AND the bottom. They had glass glasses printed-on. They had a little 4″ high toy foam rocket with two color printing on it, and printed on three sides.* They had all sorts of expensive little swag things, and two different kinds of swag bags with their name on it to hold the swag. They also had this:
This mug had the company name on it in black, and in blue (two colors means the price goes up, by the way) it had their slogan: Power Your Tomorrow. The other side also had two color printing on it – which increases cost again. This went through our dishwasher one time.
This reminds me of the pencils I snagged from our bank that closed in the financial meltdown, printed with the words “Learning for Life” or some such, to emphasize how they could teach you financial responsibility. It reminds me of the $2 Million lobby that was in another company that closed that we gutted when we bought their stuff as well.
If you have the Next Big Thing in development at your company, and you are operating on borrowed millions of dollars, here’s a protip: Don’t go nuts printing your company name, logo, slogan, motto, etc. on tchotchkes. Don’t get a two million dollar lobby built. Just build your stuff until you pay off all the capital investors, build your company and get rich, and THEN you can feel free to make coffee mugs printed in two colors on two sides and little toy foam rockets.