Reflections on Launch Week: 
Building Relationships with Focus Groups, Shotguns and a little Chardonnay

Last Tuesday we officially launched Wanderful Media. When I think back on the week, it was all about spending much-valued quality time with our partners, employees and industry advocates who are supporting our dream to reinvent local discovery shopping and make it a fun and engaging experience.

Our next goal is to make our vision a reality. Our new product launch is scheduled for Q1 2013. To that end, we hosted two focus group sessions last Wednesday. Participants from media companies The McClatchy Company, Bay Area News Group, Mercury News, Digital First, Belo, Hearst, Lee Enterprises, Advance Digital, and CNHI – as well as retailer Cost Plus World Market – joined us to share their perspectives regarding new features, concepts and directions. In addition to appealing to consumers, Wanderful Media products must address specific media and retail partner requirements.

The focus group discussions centered on the following areas:

  • The importance of the retailer brand to the consumer.  A lot of time was spent here.  As we all know, in the end, retailers are in fact the curators of the products we buy.
  • The opportunity to take the “carry it with you” mode of a circular to the next level with a mobile device
  • The incredible assets that our media partners have to help bring great shopping solutions to local discovery shoppers
  • Leveraging the intelligence baked into the circular when appropriate
  • The consideration of both the passive and active user – those who are actively seeking discounts and those who are passively browsing products

These sessions provide invaluable insights, and we will continue to gather input as our development efforts progress. We’re currently operating our beta product FindnSave ® in over 250 markets, reaching 600 by the end of this year.

Thursday was our 4th Annual Shotguns & Chardonnay Event which – I must admit – I look forward to all year long.  And this year’s event was as good as it gets.  This is a fun event where professionals and amateurs alike get to try their hand at trapshooting…many for the first time.  It’s great to experience the excitement when a “First Timer” hits their first clay pigeon and proudly shares their “action photo” with the group.


After the excitement out on the shooting range, we moved up the mountain for an exceptional tasting of award-winning Ridge Vineyards wines while surrounded by breathtaking views of the valley below us.  It was a very memorable day with over 150 friends and guests taking the time to come out in the 90 degree heat to meet and mingle, and have some fun together.


There are many great photos posted on Facebook where you can experience again (or, for the first time) the fun of the event.

Thanks so much to everyone who came.  It meant a lot to everyone involved with the launching of Wanderful Media. For those who couldn’t join us, we hope you’ll be able to make it next time.

And a special thank you to our friends at Sunnyvale Rod and Gun Club and Ridge Vineyards for not only providing perfect venues, food and wine, but great hospitality as well.  We’ll be back again next year once we get some products out the door.

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About Ben T. Smith, IV

Founder of, investor in and advisor to technology and media companies
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