How We Got Merit – The Get Ready Pt. 1

February 28, 2012 Posted by David Merritt No Comments


Startups are all about trial and error. You’ve got this great idea. You think. And this great idea supposedly solves this problem you’ve identified. Hopefully. Which leads to targeting the people that want a solution. Right? So you try it out.

That’s the beauty of this thing. No one has the manual. No one has all the answers. It’s a walk of faith.

We’ve been doing it for 28 months now. And during that time, we’ve learned a great deal about you, the market, and our business model. Every day, we wake up with a great challenge before us and there’s nothing like it. Nothing more satisfying.

It’s amazing how much trial and error can teach you. It’s mind-boggling how simple conversations with customers, and non-customers, can lead to so much insight. These conversations can even change your business model in a heartbeat. Change your beliefs and mindset.

And that’s exactly what we focused on in 2011. We learned that it’s important to take a disciplined approach. Steve Blank’s The Four Steps To The Epiphany, (If you are thinking of starting a business, you have got to pick this up) turned our operation upside down. Getting out of the building. Talking with customers. Talking with non-customers. “Customer Discovery,” he calls it. Leading to “Customer Validation,” “Customer Creation,” and “Company Building.”

You can’t just build it and they will come. As a startup, it’s really about iteration. Continue to adapt and change your product and business model as you collect more and more facts from potential customers.

So that’s why we are so excited about Merit. We’ve pushed and clawed to gain as many customer insights about this market. And it’s led to some amazing findings. Some amazing ideas. And most importantly, it’s produced a game changer.

Merit creates fashion forward products that help committed, disadvantaged youth attain a college education. 20% of Merit’s revenue provides college scholarships for underserved youth. One way this will occur will be through Merit’s not-for-profit entity facilitating an education program for Detroit youth in conjunction with varying branches of the University of Michigan.

So here’s what we’re asking you to do:

1. Join The Merit Community
- Merit is building an exclusive online community of fashionable givers. Get your free membership, by invite only, for Merit’s viral invite site!

Merit Viral Site

2. Invite Friends and Earn Cash
- After you’re in, you’ll receive an exclusive invite link just for you! You can pass this along to friends and family, and earn cash credits toward future purchases, in the process.

3. Visit GD regularly, as we reveal more Merit
- More blog posts like the one you’re reading now. More product sneak peeks. More social components.

4. If you haven’t, check out the REVIVAL – What Happened To IMU? webisode series!
- You can learn how we rebranded from IMU to Merit.

I’m serious. Stick around. A revolution is on the horizon.

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