Thursday, January 16, 2014


Until a month ago, there were two 7-11 stores within ten miles of our house. Two.

A month later, there are thirty-four. THIRTY-FOUR. There are fifty-five within 15 miles of the house.

It's incredible. Within thirty days, basically, they've bought almost every convenience store in the city. It's like they dropped a dirty convenience store bomb and every store has been radiated.

I don't mind 7-11, generally. They have a decent mix of products, and their prices are no worse than anyone else's. The problem, though, is that the different convenience store brands that used to exist all carried different products. So if I wanted A&W 10, for example--the best diet root beer ever made--there were several places where I could always find it (because local grocery stores were hit and miss).

7-11 doesn't carry A&W 10. So now there are thirty-four convenience stores within ten miles of my house that DON'T carry my favorite drink, and there are almost no non 7-11 stores left.  There's still one Chevron within a few miles who carries it, but they'll probably be slapping that 7-11 sign up there any day now.

That means that even though A&W 10 is pretty amazing, it may not survive. If you're not in stores, and no one can buy you, future prospects are dim.

This reminds me something that I've talked about in the past re Gatorade vs. Powerade. There's only a certain amount of shelf space available for "sports drinks", and Gatorade has crowded out Powerade entirely in many convenience stores. So quality is often less important than distribution deals.

It's all about distribution.

When I think about it this way, I'm very, very glad that I took the utterly ridiculous and unlikely step of submitting for Steam Greenlight. When the miracle came through and GS was actually approved, it meant that I instantly had the widest distribution possible. And they carry everything. The gaming equivalent of A&W 10 is always in stock on Steam.

I remembered that as I struggled through the submission process this week (TGFG, or Thank God For Garret). The struggled were due to my own ineptitude, not the quality of the tool (which was impressively good), but I finally finished everything late this morning and submitted early this afternoon.

That's right: the game has officially been submitted to Steam. How's that for burying the lead?

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