“Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” – Thomas Edison
I will be launching my first product through the well-known crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. For those of you who are not familiar with the in’s and out’s of Kickstarter, here are a few basics (feel free to skip to the next paragraph otherwise). Kickstarter provides people with ideas for projects (a book, a play, artwork, a product) a digital platform on which to share those ideas. The project will be on Kickstarter for about 30 days with a goal of raising money to help fund the project – this is the campaign. In return for contributing money to the campaign, backers receive some sort of reward – tickets to the show, a copy of the book or artwork, or the product being developed. Each campaign has a duration, a funding goal, and rewards (not investment).
There are two specific reasons I am using this method to launch a product. As stated above by Thomas Edison, I too want to create things that people want…useful, beautiful, easy-to-use. Publicly running a crowdfunding campaign allows me to find out what people want and what they don’t want without risking much capital (lots of time and pride will be sacrificed for sure!). In essence, I am able to use Kickstarter to “pre-sell” the product and gain valuable feedback to help improve and refine the design. In addition, manufacturing costs are high to launch a new product – tooling and molds can cost tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Once the campaign is complete, we can wrap-up the design efficiently, and then have the appropriate amount of funds to complete the first production run. Crowdfunding allows me to optimize the design using feedback from people willing to pay for the product.
When my Kickstarter campaign launches at the end of February, I will post about it with a link to the campaign. Until then, feel free to sign up for updates through the form on the home page of this site, and go ahead and set up a Kickstarter account if you don’t have one already (it’s fun to be a backer!).