If you’ve ever used glitter or owned anything glittery, you know how messy it can be. Even months later, you can find little flecks hidden in every corner of your home. So just imagine how much of a mess you’d have on your hands if someone just sent you an envelope full of the sparkly substance.
That was the idea behind Mathew Carpenter’s evil plan. But as with many evil plans, it ended up backfiring.
The idea behind Carpenter’s business, Ship Your Enemies Glitter, is simple enough. In fact, it says what it is right in the name. Customers can visit the business’s website and pay $9.99 in Australian currency to send a glitter filled letter to anyone in the world. The envelope also includes a note explaining exactly why that person, the “enemy,” is receiving the glitter.
The website went live just this month and took off almost immediately. In fact, Carpenter told Fast Company that he would receive thousands of orders within 24 hours. All the viral attention and Web traffic even caused the site to crash multiple times.
Most business owners would be thrilled to realize that level of success so quickly. But Ship Your Enemies Glitter is no normal business.
It got so bad recently that Carpenter actually posted a message on Product Hunt saying:
“Hi guys, I’m the founder of this website. Please stop buying this horrible glitter product — I’m sick of dealing with it. Sincerely, Mat.”
So although he’s likely making a hefty profit from the venture, he claims it isn’t worth it. It seems he didn’t take all of the actual work (and mess) into account before starting. And the viral success of the website certainly didn’t help him ease into running the business.
So the lesson here seems to be, before starting a business or hatching an evil plan, be sure you’re willing to do all the work that might be involved. It’s a lesson in dealing with success that all entrepreneurs — not just “evil geniuses” — need to learn.
Image: Ship Your Enemies Glitter
That picture is hilarious. I wonder what it is that is making him hate his business so much? it would be interesting to hear from him on that. Is it because he didn’t get the shipping logistics right or his margin numbers were off? He nailed the marketing, because I’ve heard about it a ton, so would love to hear went wrong in his opinion.
The Spark Guru
He has publicly reiterated that he simply didn’t plan for nor want it to go viral. No extra normal biz reasons actually, just tired of dealing with the glitter. As a result, there are knock-off orgs swooping in offering the same service.
Seems like he just didn’t plan for it to get that popular that quickly. And (understandably) he just didn’t want to deal with all that glitter!
Just goes to show you, “All that glitters is not gold”
haha very true!
He’s not complaining now. He just sold the site for $85,000.
Well there’s a good solution for him! haha
More and more websites are coming up that send glitter. Send other Annoying Stuff instead 🙂
I’m sure there are lots of great things people can send along those lines!