Project Precipice Week 2: say hello to inlo


week 1 how’s it going
week 2 say hello to inlo
week 3 strategery and defiance
week 4 a breakfast octopus prequel
week 5 brainstorming with bezos

It’s been a quick week since I checked in to see how things were going. Honestly it was great just to feel a community here ready to join in on discussion without fanfare or announcement. Eventually we’ll have some actions worthy of an email newsletter. Until then, I’m very pleased to have existing community input on our smaller steps.

In the replies last week, I mentioned forming a small team to brainstorm and plan operational improvements for Meh. I’d like to welcome two of our longer tenured Mercatalyst (née mediocre ) employees to that team: the delightfully verbose @mehsterious and her succinctly clever sidekick @troy will join me, the rudely interrupting scatterbrained project leader @snapster (ok well those are our video chat personas anyways)

Still close at hand, our greater Mercatalyst family including customer service, buyers, merchandisers, writers, ops crew, and original co-founders (the ex-woot exec team) all remain operationally active and passionately invested in our endeavors here. They have other jobs to do, though. We’re pleased to have their trust in our efforts.

What did we do first? We formalized a new operating org within Mercatalyst. We’re calling it Inverse Logistics. InLo, for short.

Inverse Logistics brainstorming logo

(we had some fun asking a fiverr designer to make a draft logo)

This new-org concept will enable us to think more exclusively about the Meh channel and our community needs. Some things are benefited by operational separation from the larger company. It also presumes we’ll need an external wholesale partnership and sourcing facing, hence the B2B name. In some ways, it may resemble a fork in the path going back 5 years ago, with an alternate history of “what if we didn’t create MorningSave.” Possibly I could even go back to 2003 “what if I didn’t create Woot” for the full OG daily deal start-up vibe, but that’s setting expectations a bit too high. Naming our site Meh was first and foremost an exercise in expectation management and I’m not ready to give that up.

As first new org actions, we’re scoping out how we’ll interact with the other Mercatalyst teams and what resources we’ll need. A big one to announce already is that we’ll have a separate inventory available to us so that we can make and hold onto the kind of foolish buys you guys really love to see over and over again (like those speaker docks we finally ran out of).

That’s enough for this wall of text. I’ll expand a bit more as needed here in the comments and look forward to updating you again next week.

Please say hello to @mehsterious and @troy and the inlo operating org.