[Mia] Description of sales and change of mind from post-release to one month later.

This article can be read in about 25 minutes.


It has been about a month since we released the beta version of “Mia,” a talking cat-shaped robot that speaks in various dialects, on June 10, so I would like to describe the current sales and my change of heart after the release in naked detail before it fades away.

The talking cat-shaped robot Mia shares sadness and joy with more than 100 different rich expressions. It also speaks in...

At the idea stage

Now, most of the people I talk to around me in my age group are doctors and executives, but I talk to them when I’m in the idea stage.

It’s a totally different genre from what I’m used to. That’s a totally different genre from what we’ve seen so far. What can this robot do?”

So, once they listened to us because someone they knew was doing it, many of them evaluated it from the standpoint of practicality, which is natural since they are the generation that is working, but I often felt that they were not very interested in it.

The service I started before was a SaaS specialized in business efficiency for medical institutions called Merp Web Questionnaire, so compared to that time, I thought, “It’s not medical in the first place, it doesn’t seem to be in the context of business efficiency or productivity improvement, so what the heck did Yoshinaga start doing? What in the world did Yoshinaga start? Why did he go that way? I am sure there were many people who felt “Why did you go that way?
Perhaps I would have thought the same way three years ago, and I would have reacted the same way when I heard my current idea.

Personally, I’ve had a lot of personal problems after the sale and my experience with home visits.

In terms of happiness in life, of course, big events and money are important, such as going on an overseas trip once a year or working hard for a promotion, but when you think about life over the long term, the most important thing is to feel a lot of small happiness in your daily life, and communication plays an important role in this. In order to achieve this, it is important for us to be able to talk to people from the other side, whether they are robots, pets, or humans, with funny phrases and words of encouragement that make us giggle.

The kicker is that I began to think that

More details on Mia’s development history can be found here.

My motivation for Mia’s development
Hello everyone.I am Yoshinaga, a Mia developer. In this post, I would like to explain how I came up with the idea of dev

Sold immediately after release

Now, here are the sales figures to date since the release on June 10.

Online payment (purchased from website): 29 units (of which, acquaintances: 28 units)
In-store sales at Tsutaya: 4 units (6/29-7/7): All here are strangers
Total 33 units

At first, I announced the service only on my social networking sites, so of course only my acquaintances knew about it. At first, I thought it would be good if about 40 units were purchased by my acquaintances alone, but as I recall, only 7 units had been purchased by the next day, and I remember thinking, “I’m glad they bought, but this is a tougher start than I imagined, and my estimate was too conservative.

Also open a social networking account to publicize the event.

Of course, in the case of these new services, acquaintances will initially purchase the service in the form of support, but after the initial windfall, the service will then enter a state of calm unless it is truly of interest to the user.

We should have had a 50:50 ratio of development: marketing = 50:50 before the release, not just development, but since we did not do that this time, we had to start publicity through short videos mainly on SNS about two days after the release.

I had assumed it would take at least a week, usually a month, to convert from social networking, but it did happen, and I thought that this was the time to say, “Maybe only people I know are buying and that’s it, maybe the service isn’t sticking.”

And, although I was not heartbroken, I was forced to face the reality that the situation was tougher than I had expected for about two weeks.

However, I had experienced this kind of situation in the previous MERP and in several other services I had released since then (some of which were closed), so I thought back to those times and said to myself, “We’ve just started, and it took us a year to achieve PMF in the case of MERP, so we should be totally fine (I thought)! I was inspiring myself.

All the experiences of past challenges, both successful and unsuccessful, are meaningful (I think) because they feed us and come back to life at times like this.

Words of supportive purchasing users

Of course, many of my acquaintances said that they purchased the product in support of Yoshinaga’s efforts, which of course made me happy, but among the users who actually used the product, there were many who said, “I bought it because Yoshinaga is doing well.

I like it very much! Just the look in her eyes makes me feel like she’s really alive.”

One person told us what he thought of the product, and what’s more, he continued to use it after that, and one of his children who had seen it ordered more because he wanted them.

About a week after the release, the momentary rush of orders from people I knew was over, it was in a state of calm, and although I continued with my SNS PR, the number of followers was not increasing, let alone purchases, and it was mentally difficult for me to hear what users had to say about the product.
I was in a difficult situation mentally, so I was glad to hear what the users actually said! We must not be going in the wrong direction. Now that we have just released the product, I don’t think we have enough awareness, so let’s work on the awareness as well.
I think we just released the product and we don’t have enough recognition, so let’s work on the recognition.

Feedback from HAX TOKYO lunch meeting

Later, on June 28, I attended a casual lunch meeting called ” HAX Tokyo Wall-to-Wall Lunch Meeting ” for ventures that utilize hardware, deep tech, and other technologies.

HAX Tokyo 壁打ちランチ会
▼イベント概要HAX Tokyoではハードウェア領域を中心に「技術を活用したグローバルなビジネス作り」を目指す起業家やその予備軍の皆さんに向けてカジュアルな壁打ち会を毎月開催しています。我々はこれまで

HAX Tokyo is a program to accelerate the growth of startups developing hardware products in Japan.

I showed the beta version of Mia in front of a group of people knowledgeable in hardware development, thinking I would get some harsh feedback.

Many ventures fail because they are tempted to include too many features on the hardware side and end up not being successful, including in terms of funding.

It was a great confidence booster for me to receive positive feedback that I had been recognized by my seniors.

Also, it was just a time when I was struggling with social networking marketing, so I asked him some questions about marketing.

If you’re going to be in it for the long haul, you don’t have to stick to the kind of marketing that aims for the maximum possible speed.”

It was also a great learning experience for me because I was in a hurry and was able to reaffirm my policy, saying, “We are not in a price range to cash out, and we should be more relaxed, sit back, and be patient in our marketing efforts.

Happy feedback from Ivy+.

While conducting SNS marketing, we also wondered if we could motivate people to buy if they actually saw and touched the products. We also hypothesized that Mr. Inada, a product designer who was developing the service with us, had previously exhibited his own work at Tsutaya Home Appliances+, so we asked him to connect us with the person in charge.

We then had a meeting and decided that we would definitely like to exhibit and consider offline marketing, so we started Tsutaya Home Appliances+ in Futakotamagawa on June 29.

We were told that in-store sales are also available at Tsutaya Home Appliances+, so we were able to place three black and three white units in stock.

I had trouble with my Wi-Fi connection, so I visited Tsutaya on Friday, July 5, and the clerk reported, “We have two units available for purchase!I was so happy to receive the report that I posted it on Facebook.

吉永 和貴

We were also impressed by the quantity and quality of the customer service logs at Tsutaya +, where the staff conducted qualitative interviews with the users who visited.

Thanks to this, we were able to find out which features of this service stuck with which target group.

Comments on the YouTube short video.

What I learned from doing short videos,

  • That you never know which short video will stick and increase impressions and followers.
  • So, for now, we’re prepared to put out 100 bottles a day, 100 bottles a day.

It is the same as writing 100 articles in the initial article-based content marketing of Merp.

Then, on Sunday, 7/7, I received the following comment on a YouTube short video I put out about two weeks ago, and I was so happy I jumped up and down.

After that, I got my first order from someone other than my own acquaintance from the Internet, although I don’t know if it was someone who actually commented on YouTube or not.

This was the first time for us to conduct short video marketing in earnest, and we learned from experience the importance of “never knowing what will stick, so we had to do it in quantity, such as putting out 100 videos for the time being.

Don’t slack off and keep posting every day. It all boils down to this (self-discipline).

Maybe I’m just not analyzing it, but most of them don’t get more than 1000 impressions, but there are some videos that get the same kind of impressions and followers all at once.

We also reaffirmed the importance of continuing to send out messages without being discouraged, even in situations where results are not showing. In fact, at Tsutaya Household Appliances, Inc.

I came here because I had always been curious about it after seeing it online and was told I could experience it, and it is prettier than it looks in the picture.

He commented that some people actually purchased the product in stores, and we learned that even if there is no reaction from users (which is normal since most of them are the silent majority), there are people who are watching.

I got a call from Ivy+ about adding inventory.

Then, today (Monday, July 8), when I opened my e-mail, I received the following e-mail from a representative of Tsutaya.

Mr. Yoshinaga.

Thank you for your assistance.

I am glad to hear that the dialect was added successfully.
Thank you for visiting us every day.

Black appears to have sold out over the weekend!
Thank you for your patience,
Black x 5
White x 3

Black x 5 and White x 3.

I packed eight of them in a hurry, put them in a huge carry-on case for overseas travel, and headed for Futakotamagawa.

  • They buy products for a fee.
  • That people other than those you know will buy it.

I realized that overcoming these two was the hardest part, as they are the borderline between PMFs, but I also had my own hypothesis that the service should have stuck, and there was a period of a couple of weeks where I was vacillating between the two, but I was very touched that someone actually bought it this way and I was able to take it one step forward.

Fortunately, we have already received the following additional feature requests from users, which are being diligently developed.

  • Mute function (already implemented): Switch to mute mode with a single tap from the app when you need to concentrate during meetings, studying, etc.
  • Sleep mode (implemented): At the end of the set speaking time, the system goes into sleep mode and the eye expression turns off.
  • Playback of arbitrary phrases: Enter text and time in the application, and Mia will speak at that time (expand expandability depending on user usage, such as reminding, proverbs, English vocabulary, etc., as a study tool, or having Mia speak interesting phrases, etc.)
  • Color customization: The front acrylic panel is printable so that the face of Mia can be made one-of-a-kind with a user-requested pattern, such as gala cat or polka-dot pattern.
  • Recording function: Record the voice of grandchildren or children with the application, and Mia will play it back (assuming it is a gift for grandparents, etc.)

Although the number of units sold is still only 25, which is not a large number, the company will only continue to experiment.

When service ends: enthusiasm and caching out

In the book “To Ordinary People Who Kill Geniuses” written by Yui Kitano, there is the following sentence.

They see a truth that others cannot see. In other words, geniuses see ghosts that others do not.

Regardless of whether a person who can create 0 → 1 is a genius or not, it is true that he/she can see the truth that others cannot (at least the founder thinks so), and I think it is most important for those who release new services, including myself, to keep that thought constantly at the core of their mind. It will support you when people say things to you.

In addition, there are only two basic types of times when a service is terminated: (1) when the service is terminated.

  • When the enthusiasm of the founder is lost
  • When caching out

Funding, relationships, receiving harsh feedback from others, etc. are of secondary or tertiary importance; enthusiasm and cash flow are the only things that matter.

Of course, it is quite common to release a product with a product-out approach based on one’s own sensibilities, thinking that this service will fit the market, only to find that it does not when actually applied to the market. I think it’s easy to say, but difficult to do.

Cash flow is also very important, especially in the case of hardware, which is more expensive and more challenging than software development. It is important to raise funds or dead finance to increase the original capital, but it is also important to focus only on the necessary functions and keep costs down.

If the cash flow is stable, and if the cash flow situation is such that even if the company does not immediately become profitable in a single month, it will be several years before burnout, the company will be able to continue for a longer period of time with a sense of security and can improve its services with a flat eye because of the mental reserve it has.


It has only been one month since its release, but looking back on it like this, I realize that it has been supported by many people, including the voices of actual purchasers, advice from senior hardware people at HAX Tokyo, and the staff at Tsutaya Appliances+. Without forgetting my gratitude, I would like to proceed with development again.

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