Happy Accidents #014 - CROSSNET
How some backyard fun turned into an 8 figure business
This week I'm sharing with you the story of how the wildly popular game CROSSNET was invented completely by chance!
SETTING THE STAGE
The story begins with Greg Meade and his longtime friend Mike Delpapa.
Prior to 2017, Greg had dropped out of college and was living with his mom. He’d been working on various eCommerce ventures but none he was really passionate about.
That’s when he got a call one night from Mike that changed everything.
Mike proposed to Greg that they partner to create a new venture together. Great…now they just needed an idea for a business. Easy, right?
They got together and stayed up all night thinking of ideas. Nothing seemed to stick.
THE HAPPY ACCIDENT
A short time later, they were playing volleyball in their backyard. After playing for a while, they realized they were tired of the traditional game and wanted something different. They both enjoyed volleyball as well as foursquare and wondered if they could combine the two.
So, they decided to split the court in half with a net in order to create a game of 2-on-2. And just like that, CROSSNET was born.
They knew they were onto something so they took the idea and ran with it.
Creating a prototype just 24 hours later, they tested it in the backyard of Greg’s mom's house.
Greg and Mike continued to work on the game in their spare time, refining the rules and the equipment until they had a fully realized product.
Eventually, they were able to create a real prototype and bring it to market within a year.
Fast forward a few more years, and CROSSNET has become a global sensation, with thousands of players around the world.
It's been featured on ESPN, Good Morning America, and other major media outlets. And it's all thanks to an accidental invention in a backyard.
Special Note: I came across the story of CROSSNET when I was doing research for my book, The Zero In Formula, back in 2020.
Familiar with their story, I knew it would make for a great edition of the Happy Accidents newsletter. So, I reached out to CROSSNET CEO, Greg Meade to get some more background on their Happy Accident.
Not only has he been able to create a new game and a new business along with his brother Chris and lifelong friend, Mike, but he’s created a dream life for himself.
“It has led to a life of being able to be on my own schedule, rely on no one but my friends and family, being able to travel and see the world while growing something I love”, says Greg.
Some fun facts:
The game was launched on Kickstarter in 2017 and raised over $60,000 in just 30 days.
CROSSNET has been featured on the popular television show Shark Tank, where it received an investment from billionaire Mark Cuban.
CROSSNET has partnered with several professional volleyball players and organizations, including the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), to promote the sport and the game.
By 2022 CROSSNET was being sold in over 3500 retail locations, distributed in North America, Australia, and Europe and we’ve just surpassed 8 figures in annual revenue!
The lessons here:
Sometimes the best ideas come from unexpected places: Greg and Mike never set out to invent a new game - they were just looking for a way to mix things up. But their curiosity and willingness to try something new led to a whole new sport.
Don't be afraid to share your ideas with others: If Greg and Mike had kept CROSSNET to themselves, it never would have become the phenomenon it is today. By sharing it with friends and family, they were able to get feedback and refine the game.
Keep iterating until you have a product you're proud of: CROSSNET didn't become a success overnight - it took lots of tweaking and refining the game to get it where it is today. But Greg and Mike were committed to making it the best it could be, and their persistence paid off.
YOUR Happy Accidents
I asked people on Twitter to tell me some of the best things that have ever happened to them by accident. Check out some of these great responses!
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→ The Solopreneur Playbook This 90 minute video course brings you a 6 step playbook (and workbook) for finding your niche, packaging and selling your offer, and building your audience.
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